By: CHARLENE LANYON/The Fiji Times
FIJI and Ethiopia have not contributed much to the climate change “we are facing now but that doesn’t mean that we should not be involved in the solutions”, says Ethiopia’s special adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Dr Ghebreyesus was on a two-day visit to Fiji and he met with PM Voreqe Bainimarama to discuss climate change and health-related issues before leaving the country yesterday.
“We are really glad that Fiji will be presiding over Conference of the Parties (COP 23) this year. It is very important because Fiji is already confronting climate change and understands the challenges of climate change,” he said.
“Someone who understands the challenges would be in a position to confront the issue more aggressively so Fiji’s presidency, we believe, would cause more understanding on the severity of the problem.”
Dr Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia also had first-hand experience of climate-change related experiences, with the country facing long periods of drought.
He said the key reason for his visit to Fiji was to seek the Fijian Government’s support in his bid for the director-general position at the World Health Organization (WHO).
“I am glad the five priorities I outlined in my vision for WHO, which focuses on women, children and adolescents, the health impacts of climate and environmental change and health security, are also well accepted in Fiji,” he said.
“If I win the director-general position then I will support Fiji and other countries in this region in their health care priorities.”
PM Bainimarama, in a statement, said Fiji acknowledged the important role Ethiopia played in Africa and on the international stage.