Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says growing geopolitical rivalry, mistrust, pain, and self-centred ambition is contributing to escalating tensions around the world.
Addressing the 78th United Nations General Assembly, Rabuka said rather than leveraging multilateral determination to overcome the poly-crises that threaten us, we are more focused on our differences.
Rabuka said we are now living in an unpredictable world and we must act to survive these ‘interesting times’.
He said collective effort is necessary to address enormous challenges and reduce the risk associated with the unpredictable environment that the world faces today, not only as sovereign nations but as the whole of humanity and instead of leveraging global cooperation to manage our shared challenges and associated risk, growing geopolitical rivalry is escalating these tensions.
“Our Blue Pacific is at the centre of geopolitical tension,” he said.
The Prime Minister said at the end of WWII, peace finally returned to the Pacific but today, we are facing renewed geopolitical competition with a similar but complex build-up.
Rabuka said for the Pacific, climate change has been identified as a threat to peace and security.
He said the reality is that no country is exempt from the impact of climate change, and no nation can address it alone.
“As we mobilize to address the impact and associated challenges, we must, at the same time, come together to share our common wealth. This is the only way we can ensure that no one is left behind.”
“We in the Pacific bear the brunt of climate change on our coastline, our communities, our livelihoods, our security and indeed our very statehood and identity.”
Rabuka added that Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) are struggling to respond to global supply shocks, with soaring debt levels impacting progress in the implementation of the sustainable development goals and the equality gap continues to widen.