Fiji Attorney General Says Financing Is Necessary For Region To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Sayed-Khaiyum addresses Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting in Suva

By Losirene Lacanivalu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, April 6, 2017) – The implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region by 2030 can be achieved if Pacific islands countries have access to finance.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told delegates at the annual Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting being held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, that Fiji faced similar issues as other Pacific islands.

He gave the example of Fiji after the destruction left behind by severe Tropical Cyclone Winston with a bill of around $1.4 billion.

“As we saw last year in Fiji, we had a cyclone that wiped off one third of the value of our GDP (gross domestic product). That can be an enormous setback for any country and you can imagine if that type of magnitude of disaster does happen, then you can have 20 years of development set back overnight.”

But Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that with the quest for development, countries needed to consider the importance of the Human Development Index.

He said the assessment and development of the index is critical if countries need to get a consensual loan, grant and access to climate finance.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also urged the ministers to think outside the box and focus on long and short term goals.

Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Dame Meg Taylor said in the past three years the resilience of the people, the island economies, and intra-regional partnerships have been brought into sharper focus, as a number of our countries grappled with the disastrous impacts of tropical storms such as Maysak (2015), Pam (2015) and Winston (2016).

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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