Fiji President reminds MPs on issues to prioritise

Fiji’s President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote reminded members of parliament that deliberations in the August House should prioritise the welfare and health of every Fijian as the country looks to re-engage economically with the world.

Opening the 2020-2021 session of parliament today, Konrote called on MPs on the need to focus on three issues being the country’s COVID-19-contained status; economic recovery, and its response to the climate, oceans and biodiversity crises.

“No matter the crushing economic impact of this pandemic, building our resilience cannot be relegated to the backburner. We either adapt now or risk everything our people have built over the last 50 years,” Konrote said.

 “It must materialise through the funding we grant our frontline health officials, the equipment we provide them, and through our advocacy on the world stage to secure equitable access to an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our people’s wellbeing also cannot be separated from our economy’s recovery. We cannot settle for providing struggling Fijians with short-term assistance, we owe them each the opportunity to work again in jobs they have loved, in established sectors with potential for growth, as well as in emerging, cutting-edge industries.

“The rising seas are claiming of our coastlines, our reefs are disappearing, storms are becoming stronger, and farming is being impacted by changing weather patterns.”

Konrote also advised against pursuits that would result in an “unequal recovery.”

Parliament proper will start next week.

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