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Less talk, more action

Sylvia Elias from the Federated States of Micronesia



Suva, Fiji – May 1, 2019: 2.15pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Let us talk less and do what needs to be done!

That was the message sent out loud and clear this morning by Miss Sylvia Elias of the Federated States of Micronesia.

While speaking at the ‘Ignite’ session at the first ever Pacific Resilience Meeting in Suva this morning, Sylvia did not mince her words.

In fact she pointed out what many who attend meetings such as the current one would not dare open their mouth and say – there has been too many meetings, too many discussions and no action taken.

“I am here to show that it is ok to speak up. I have been part of a lot of meetings – we keep meeting and talk about the same things over and over again,” she said.

“Meet and then what? Come here talk about youth issues and go back home doing nothing.

“We need to take action. Action speaks louder than words.

“Don’t talk about action but act.”

She said it was also important for us as Pasifika people to let go of emotions and the past and focus our ideas things we can do, leaving what we can not undo.

“We waste our energy and resources on this,” she said

I thought Sylvia was bold.

Bold enough to say what was on her mind – and remind everyone of the need to ensure that meetings do not just happen and suggestions filed away.

But that those decisions and agreements needs to be actioned.

Otherwise we will all be failing in our work, in our responsibilities.

This week the buzz words have been Resilience and Disaster Risk Reductions (DRD).

It is the first in the Pacific, and maybe the world, where both resilience and disaster risk reductions are being discussed together.

Meeting organisers believe this is the way to go now – having the Pacific Resilience Partnership.

That is all well and good.

Kudos to all those who believed in that and brought the two sectors together – resilince and disaster risk reduction.

However, therein lies the challenge that Sylvia posed to us at the Japan ICT Centre this morning.

Yes let us talk, let us share our experiences, share our thoughts and put in place guidelines.

Yet, at the same time let us commit to going back to put those things into action.

The world is not going to get any better.

My Christian belief confirms that as the Holy Book has said that.

It is going to get worse.

In the same token we can help ourselves in reducing the impacts of climate change and hazards by taking mitigating actions.

We need to act.

And act now.

We have had 24 COP meetings where climate change has been the focus.

Some of our islands are sinking, marine life are dying and our rootcrops are also getting scarce.

It is time, as Sylvia said, to take action.

We are already late.

But we can still make some positive impacts if we decide, one and all, to take action.

After all action speaks louder than words!!

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