The Fijian government on Friday urged its youths to stand up in the fight against climate change and global warming -- not only as advocates but also as champions.
Speaking at the opening of the Youth Speak Forum, which was held in Fiji's second largest city of Lautoka with the theme "Empowering Youth from Decisions to Actions" on Friday, Fijian Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said it was important for the youths to understand the need to promote sustainable development, build a more knowledge-based society in the island nation, combat extreme poverty, socioeconomic inequality, corruption around the world, and become responsible environment stewards.
"It is an enormous responsibility, but through your own ambition, your own determination and your own abilities, it is a responsibility you are all more than capable of meeting," she said.
"There are many ideas you have about how you can make a difference in Fiji today, and how you can make your voice heard by the global audience and I urge all of you to see the sustainable development movement as a tremendous tool in building the better Fiji we all seek to create."
She encouraged Fijian youths to take actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together with their national and regional commitments, to raise public awareness and most importantly collaborate with their counterparts and agencies to achieve these goals.
Fiji Youth Speak Forum 2018 aims to motivate and engage Pacific youths in meaningful discussions and support them to take concrete actions in fighting climate change and sustaining aquatic life.