Conference outcome

Kiniviliame Keteca,Nausori | Monday, June 12, 2017

Last week marked the end of the Ocean Conference which was held in New York. Fiji was co-chair with Sweden. The Fijian traditional opening ceremony and the subsequent meke by the RFMF band proved to be entertaining spectacles.

As the UNGA president Thomson said, these performers had all previously worn the blue beret as UN peacekeepers. May I add that this honour of having donned the blue beret also included some of our government officials — in particular our climate champion, Minister Inia Seruiratu.

Historical indeed.

Like many previous international conferences and the many resolutions adopted there, the success of the meet is not measured by how grand the opening ceremony was.

Neither is it measured by the many speeches given and the accolades that followed.

It's also not measured by the tonnes of monies that developed states promised to pour into any region nor by the actual monies that do reach these regions.

I would submit that the success of this conference will ultimately be measured by how many of the resolutions are actually relevant and are indeed properly implemented on the ground.

In addition, the implemented resolution should benefit the many target groups rather than the few chosen ones.

Many a conference in the past have been "talk fests" without an iota of benefit reaching the taxpayers that funded the trips of our bureaucrats. Many a conference have seen government officials spend more time abroad than serve those at home.

I hope against hope that this recently concluded Ocean conference will be different. Different because our PM was one of the chairpersons. Different because he appears resolute in implementing the resolutions. Different too because our vulnerable communities and all taxpayers demand that we get maximum value for our tax monies being spent on this rather long haul of country hopping.

I say this because although the conference has ended, the sojourn hasn't. As reported, our PM will be visiting California. He will be meeting the Governor of that US most populous State. He is also in contact with movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I congratulate our PM and his team for their part in this conference.

I'm sure that many fellow Fijians look forward to the implementation of the conference outcomes.

May I add that we deserve nothing less.

Otherwise, the daily allowances, which amount to thousands of dollars would have been better spent in rebuilding many houses and provide much needed comfort to those fellow Fijians who are still living in tents.

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