Fierravanti-Wells: Today I am in Denarau, Fiji, representing Australia at a ministerial meeting of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This morning I hosted with Prime Minister Bainimarama of Fiji an event to celebrate women’s leadership in climate change diplomacy.

I was pleased to announce an Australian contribution of $1.5 million over four years to harness the talents of the next generation of climate leaders from the Pacific through training, networking and mentoring for female negotiators and policy makers.

Since 2015, Australia has supported negotiation and leadership training for more than 80 women from the Pacific.

This year we will support 14 alumni of this training to take their voices to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn – the first COP to focus on the Pacific.

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific countries share stewardship of the Pacific Ocean.

Accordingly, I also announced $1.38 million (2018-20) in joint Australia-New Zealand support to the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner.

The Pacific Ocean Commissioner plays a key role in regional advocacy and coordination on climate and ocean issues of critical importance to Pacific island communities, livelihoods, and economies.

This funding further supports the new ‘Blue Pacific’ identity, a new platform for ocean-centred Pacific diplomacy, endorsed by Pacific Island leaders last month.