The Fijian Parliament has stamped its mark in the higher echelon of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) along the margins of the 147th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly currently underway in Luanda, Angola.
Leader of the Opposition, Inia Seruiratu, on behalf of the Speaker of the Fijian Parliament, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was unanimously elected as the Chairperson for the SIDS during their meeting today which was chaired by Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles, Roger Mancienne.
Despite the diplomatic objections by Seruiratu on his nomination so as to allow other members to take up the role, members present persistently resolved that Fiji take up the position.
“Fiji, yet again, has stamped its mark in the international arena, in taking up a leadership position.”
“This is only our second IPU Assembly participation and attendance in this new term of Parliament and we are now being considered for this position.”
“This is a great moment for Fiji and the small island states, including our Pacific neighbours and it only means that we have to work harder to raise issues which affects us as SIDS in the IPU and other international forums,” Seruiratu said.
SIDS are faced with several serious environmental challenges, mostly related to climate change, including sea-level rise and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services.
SIDS will be co-chaired by Austelino Correia, Speaker from the Parliament of Cape Verde.
The three geographical regions in which SIDS are located are the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS).
Earlier today, the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Milton Dick MP was unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Group to fill one of the two vacancies in the IPU Executive Committee.