Honorable AG and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

NZ High Commissioner, H.E. Jonathan Curr

Australian High Commissioner, H.E. John Feakes

Indian High Commissioner, H.E. Subramanyan Karthigeyan

Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Ariff Ali

Members of the diplomatic corps

Heads of UN agencies

Senior Government officials, CEOs

Senior private sector representatives and invited guests

Colleagues

Ladies and gentlemen

Bula Vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the presence of the Honorable AG and Minister, Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum and I take this opportunity to thank the Fijian Government for supporting this landmark initiative to launch the inaugural parametric micro-insurance in the region.

Next, I would like to acknowledge the presence and participation of the respective High Commissioners from NZ, Australia and India - as well as the Governor of Reserve Bank of Fiji and other senior officials for gracing us with their presence.

At this juncture, I wish to thank the Governments of Australia, NZ and India for their generous support rendered to the various UNDP and UNCDF initiatives in Fiji ~ a team spirit indeed, Vinaka Vakalevu.

The UN’s 2018-2022 Pacific Strategy has a strong emphasis on climate change and disaster risk management, two critical issues confronting this region.

This concern is compounded with the recent release of the UN IPCC report reinforcing once again that Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying. The IPCC report is the UN Secretary General’s “code red for humanity.”

The report anticipates cyclones to become more intense and frequent in the future and we must prepare accordingly.  Addressing climate change is a UN strategic priority in the region, and we are integrating it into programming to promote resilient and sustainable development in the Pacific.

Esteemed guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, by 2022, the aim is to make Pacific islanders more resilient to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and disasters. This micro-insurance product, which we are launching today is a game changer. It will help us navigate in advance, disasters, especially with the cyclone season that is once again imminent in Fiji.

We hope that through this programme, we are able to foster an insurance culture in Fiji and the Pacific given the financial security it provides during crises.  

The Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme or PICAP is jointly implemented by the UNCDF, UNDP and UNU - and together with the Fijian Government, developed this innovative insurance product.

On behalf of UNDP, I salute the leadership of the Fijian Government, the Governments of Australia, NZ and India for their support towards this initiative. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project and thank you to our public and private sector partners.

I applaud you all for staying the course during these very difficult times, but the real challenge starts now. Keep up the good work and I wish you all the best.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

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