The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa has called on the member states of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to enhance collaboration and partnership with the Pacific to address the climate crisis upon us.

 While speaking at the 75th UNESCAP session in Bangkok, Thailand, Minister Vuniwaqa has urged the world leaders to avoid the business as usual approach.

 The 75th session of the Commission is being held under the theme ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.’ A flagship report Closing the Gap launched to coincide with the annual meeting assesses whether disadvantaged groups such as rural populations, persons with disabilities and women have been effectively included in development.

 Global and regional leaders called for greater empowerment and inclusion of marginalized groups, if the region is to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Vuniwaqa participated at the High-level panel discussion based on the theme and reiterated Fiji’s commitment to leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest by citing various programmes Government is implementing to achieve this.

 She also participated in a side-event organised by the Government of Canada on “Advancing gender equality through the economic empowerment of women and girls: key catalysts for innovative change”. At both events she underscored the importance of women’s empowerment and addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups to close the gap.

 On 28 May she delivered the keynote remarks at a side event organised by the Embassies of India and France in Bangkok and also by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and ESCAP.

 In her remarks, Vuniwaqa urged Members of the ISA to align financial flows to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. She was also a panelist in Bangladesh’s side event where she shared her Ministry’s experience in implementing SDG 5 on Gender Equality.

 Later, she took part in the High-level panel for the Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific island developing States.

 The 75th Session continues in Bangkok and ends on Friday 31 May.

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