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Criticism of COP26 has backfired

December 1, 2021 4:00 am
Education Minister, Premila Kumar.

Education Minister, Premila Kumar says the Opposition cannot fathom that a small country like Fiji is punching above its weight in matters of global significance.

Kumar says calling Fiji’s participation at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, a junket trip, is an example of politics of pettiness and ignorance.

She adds the significance of Fiji’s participation was not understood by the opposition and politically biased NGOs and individuals.

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“The Honourable Prime Minister not only represented Fiji but also the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) members as the current Chair. It is a norm that important international meetings are attended by the Chair of the Forum. Let’s not forget that our Hon. Prime Minister was also the past Chair of COP 23.”

The critics had labelled the trip as a waste of taxpayer’s money.

However, Kumar says this backfired when they came to know that the Fiji delegation was funded by donors.

“Immediately, they changed their tune and asked the Government to be transparent and accountable and to present a report on the use of every dollar of donor funds. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Leader of Opposition asking for the report to be presented in the Parliament.”

Kumar stressed that the Opposition should know that any funds received by the Government is audited by the Office of the Auditor-General and the report is presented in the Parliament.

 

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