Statement by Honorable Osea Naiqamu on World Ocean Day 2019

Statement by Hon Osea Naiqamu

Minister for Forestry and Acting Minister for Fisheries

Government of Fiji

World Ocean Day

07th June 2019


Members of Diplomatic Corp
Heads of International, Regional and Civil Society Organizations
Pacific Ocean Commissioner and Secretary General of Pacific Island Forum Secretariat
Ladies and Gentlemen

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka !!!
I am honored to deliver this statement on behalf of the Prime Minister, our people and Government of the Fiji Islands, on this year’s World Oceans Day.
It goes without saying that here in Fiji and the Pacific; our people have long and deep relationship with the Ocean.  It is only right to take time to honor, respect and give full attention to the significant role the Oceans has played in our livelihoods, our environment and our economy.  We are truly the Ocean people in this Blue Pacific continent and we should take full pride in this narrative.
Fiji in its contribution to shape and fulfill this journey; strived hard to take on global leadership at the United Nations mechanisms on Ocean and Climate change, at the regional level and also at our national and right to our community level.
Ladies and Gentlemen – this year’s World Ocean Day posited us with the theme of Gender and the Ocean.
As people of the Ocean, we are adept of the different roles of gender in the Ocean.  However, I wish to emphasize the fact that, yes indeed some gender, especially our women, have been disadvantaged and deprived of the opportunities to equally contribute to the Ocean space – be it fisheries, maritime, marine science, managers and even at the decision makers’ space.
On this World Ocean Day occasion, the strong message I would like to make is to encourage all gender alike; female and male to maximize all opportunities available and play a part in sustainably developing our Blue Pacific.  As Government institutions, organizations, communities – we must fully acknowledge this challenge and mainstream gender equality in Oceans and other processes.
It would be a re-miss of me not to acknowledge the efforts of organizers, Pacific Ocean Alliance through the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner and all organizations that have put in their efforts and come together to celebrate World Ocean Day.  Vinaka Vaka Levu !!!
On this note, I’d like to warmly welcome everyone to this World Ocean Day Celebration here at My Suva Park – Enjoy and get the best out of the exciting events throughout the day, and make your actions towards our Mother Ocean count!!
I wish you all Happy World Ocean Day!
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