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India vows to strengthen ties with Pacific Islands countries

The conference is being held under the framework of the Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC), with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as its key knowledge partner.

india Updated: May 25, 2017 20:16 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with his Fijian counterpart Frank Bainimarama.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with his Fijian counterpart Frank Bainimarama. (File Photo)

India on Thursday hosted a Pacific islands conference in the Fijian capital of Suva and pledged to strengthen its partnership with the countries of the region as part of efforts to create a sustainable world.

The ‘India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference’, hosted by Ministry of External Affairs, was inaugurated by Acting Fijian Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his message to the conference, expressed hope that the conference would enable a better understanding of solutions to the challenges faced by the region, as well as the opportunities that present themselves.

While welcoming the high-profile delegations from 14 Pacific island countries, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh reaffirmed India’s commitment to strengthening and taking forward its partnership with the Pacific island nations to take concrete action to create a sustainable world.

The minister stressed on the need to join hands through knowledge sharing, technology sharing and capacity building to minimise the serious impact of natural hazards and limit human and economic loss.

Singh announced that India will contribute USD 1 million to Fiji’s Trust Fund for their Presidency of COP-23 to be held in November 2017.

Speaking at the conference, Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, expressed his gratitude to India for its support and contribution to Fiji’s presidency of the Conference of the Parties-23.

The conference is being held under the framework of the Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC), with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as its key knowledge partner.

Other key partners at the conference include National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

During the two days of the programme, the conference will focus on issues such as the blue economy, adaptation- mitigation practices for climate change, disaster preparedness, health, the International Solar Alliance as well as finding practical solutions to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) implementation.

On the sidelines of the conference, India also signed several Memoranda of Understanding with Pacific island nations to deepen co-operation across a variety of fields. These include MoUs for setting up of Centres of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) with Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue.

India and Fiji also signed three MOUs for ‘Cooperation in Youth Development’, ‘Cooperation between Broadcasting Agencies’ and ‘Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy’.