Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama
Suva, Fiji, February 25, 2020
A few years back, we entered a new era of the Fiji-New Zealand friendship; an era defined by mutual respect and equality.
Today, our partnership sits at unparalleled strength, as Prime Minister Ardern’s personal commitment to the Pacific has built new bridges of cooperation upon the foundation of trust and openness our governments know today.
Through her inclusive and compassionate brand of leadership, she has earned a profile that extends far beyond New Zealand, winning the hearts and minds of people in Fiji and all around the world. I am glad to see it, because I believe our world badly needs more leaders like Jacinda.
This is a leader who truly cares, who not only leads well but listens, and who shares the principles of togetherness and progress that I hold most dear.
But what I have admired most is how, when tested by great adversity, she has summoned the spirit of unity in a way that not only lifts up the people of New Zealand, but inspires the wider world.
Prime Minister Ardern and I also see the potential of a unity across the Pacific.
New Zealand is Fiji’s second largest regional trading partner.
Every year, tens of thousands of Kiwis visit our shores, and Fijian and New Zealand businesses send flows of goods, services and investments across our borders that sustain and create jobs within our economies.
What makes this partnership truly special is that Prime Minister Arden and I know the possibilities for our partnership extend far beyond our patch of ocean.
From Tuvalu to the halls of the UN General Assembly, our elevated voice on the world stage has transformed the Pacific from a region left off maps to one which loudly and boldly defends humanity’s greatest interests.
New pact on Climate Change
Both recently joined Iceland, Norway and Costa Rica in a new Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability, which we expect will generate global momentum to spur sustainable, climate-conscious flows of trade.
It is one of many ways Fiji and New Zealand are leading the global race to net-zero.
I want to congratulate New Zealand on passing its climate change response Zero Carbon Bill.
Fiji is proud to join you on the right side of history by passing our own Climate Change Bill this year, which lays out our pathway to net-zero emissions.
Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama is Prime Minister of Fiji. The above is an edited version of the Statement that he issued to the media following a bilateral meeting between Fiji and New Zealand in Suva on February 25, 2020. He praised Ms Ardern for her leadership on Climate Change, the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Christchurch on March 15, 2019 and said that he and his government looked forward a closer relationship.
Ms Ardern and her delegation were on a four-day official visit to Fiji from February 24 to February 27, 2020.