Internal displacement and forced migration major issues for Pacific islanders

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Leader of Opposition, Inia Seruiratu during break between sessions at Parliament. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Pacific islanders face a huge problem of internal displacement and forced migration as a result of the impacts of climate change.

And it is these issues that island leaders should take to COP28 because it threatened the existence of islanders.

Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu made this comment in parliament yesterday as he expressed concern over the decision by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka not to attend COP28.

“This is the responsibility that he shouldn’t and couldn’t deleghate,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“He has to take it by the horn and lead it from the front because this is the single existential threat that is really going to be the biggest worry for not only Pacific islanders but global, particularly small island developing states.”

Mr Seruiratu said internal displacement and forced migration were the biggest concern for Pacific islanders today.

“What happens if Tuvalu goes underwater? What happens if Kiribati goes underwater? What happens to their sovereignty? What will happen to the migration?

“Internal displacement and forced migration are issues our leaders should take to COP because it threatens our existence.

“That is the region of peace we want.

“How can we have peace when we are threatened? Human rights are about life – we have a right to life and that is the issue we want to take and fight for.”