8 Nov 2017

Fiji PM takes up the gavel at COP23

8:44 am on 8 November 2017

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama has formally taken up the role of president of the latest round of international climate change talks in Germany.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and President of the COP23 attends the opening session of the COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 6, 2017 in Bonn, Germany.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and President of the COP23 attends the opening session of the COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 6, 2017 in Bonn, Germany. Photo: AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

It's the first time the summit's rotating presidency has been held by a small island country.

The talks - known as COP23 - are aimed at agreeing on how to implement commitments under the Paris Agreement signed two years ago.

Mr Bainimarama told the delegates they must not fail their people and needed to commit to the most ambitious target - capping global average temperature rise at 1.5 degrees.

"We are all in the same canoe, which is why we have a drua - a Fijian ocean-going canoe - in the foyer. To remind us of our duty to fill its sail with a collective determination to achieve our mission."

Frank Bainimarama also appealed for a lot more resolve to assist the more vulnerable to adapt to climate change.

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