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The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretariat’s Secretary General, Mr François Martel made a high level presentation for Canberra Diplomatic Missions at the High Commission of the Republic of Fiji in Australia on Tuesday 15 March, 2016.

Attended by more than 40 representatives from Canberra based missions and close to 10 ambassadors the presentation provided an update on the role of  PIDF at COP21 and Post-COP21,  as  well  as  news  on  progress  over  priorities  and  developments  of  the organization as it now is implementing its mandate across the region.

Participants included representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Pacific Island heads of mission and a number of senior delegates from various missions accredited to the Republic of Fiji and other invited guests of H.E Mr Yogesh Punja, High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji to Australia.

“The presentation went really well and generated a lot of valuable questions from the delegates that attended, which is reassuring because of the interest in the work being undertaken by PIDF,” said Secretary General Martel from Canberra.

“PIDF entered into force on 4 September 2015 at the 3rd PIDF Summit held in Fiji and many  of  the  Republic  of  Fiji  and  Pacific  accredited  Missions  in  Canberra  observed  the  process  and  participated  in  the summit,” said Secretary General Martel.

“One of the key outcome was the Leaders’ Suva Declaration on Climate Change, an inclusive and collective Pacific  –  SIDS  call  for  ambitious  action  as  a  unique  voice  from  the  Pacific  islands  to  be  carried  and  advocated  at COP21 in Paris,” he further added.

Secretary General Martel also acknowledged the Republic of Fiji High Commission in Canberra for facilitating all necessary logistical arrangements and hosting the presentation at their premises.

“There were a few questions from the audience regarding the need for PIDF which Mr Martel clarified but otherwise all went really smoothly and the turn out by the delegates was also extremely encouraging to see and we were more than happy to facilitate this on behalf of PIDF,” said Mr Deemant Lodhia, the First Secretary to the Canberra based High Commission.