Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met the First Vice President (Vice President) of Costa Rica H. E. Ms Epsy Campbell Barr along the margins of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Costa Rica, like Fiji is one of the 47 member states that make up the Human Rights Council.
At the meeting, the First Vice President of Costa Rica congratulated Prime Minister Bainimarama on his re-appointment as Prime Minister of Fiji and his leadership on Climate Change. The First Vice President also congratulated Fiji on its inclusion in the UNHRC, the first country in the Pacific Islands to be elected into the Council as a member.
In turn, the Prime Minister congratulated H. E. Barr for her historic elections victory in April last year, and for assuming the office of Vice President as the first Afro-Costa Rican, the first in many other fronts. The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to congratulate and convey his well wishes to Costa Rica who has offered to host the climate pre-COP25 in October of this year and its collaborative efforts with Chile in taking a lead role towards addressing the drastic effects of climate change.
Fiji and Costa Rica share a distinct connection when it comes to Human Rights and Climate Change. Fiji will use its platform on the Human Rights Council to strongly advocate for Small Island Development State issues and strongly support Council initiatives on climate change, environment and internally displaced persons. Whilst Costa Rica on the other hand launched the Geneva Pledge in 2015, with a view to addressing the human rights implications of climate change and emphasizes that human rights should inform climate responses.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Bainimarama reassured H. E. Barr and said “Fiji will do its part in calling countries that have not done so, to sign on to the Pledge”
The counterparts also discussed areas of mutual benefit and people to people exchange. The Prime Minister is in Geneva to attend the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is taking place from February 25 to March 22 at the Palais des Nations.