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Duke of Sussex stresses role of youth in confronting global challenges

The University of the South Pacific (USP) successfully hosted Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan as part of their official Royal visit to Fiji on 24 October 2018. His Royal Highness (HRH), Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex said it was an honor and a pleasure for him and his wife to visit USP in its 50th Anniversary year to learn about the fantastic work that it is doing across its twelve (12) member countries. “Fifty (50) years ago my grandmother, personally delivered the Royal Charter to your University so it is a great honour for us to be here to celebrate this milestone and celebrate all that you have achieved across the region in that time,” he said. As the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, the Duke stressed the importance of the role played by young people in confronting global challenges such as climate change. “We know that young people are the future of the Commonwealth. You will be the ones most affected by the global challenges that face us all, but you are the leaders that are creating the solution,” he told USP students. The Duke highlighted that one of the greatest challenges affecting the Pacific region is undoubtedly climate change. “All of you living here are confronted with this threat, in your daily lives. You are actually experiencing changing weather patterns, ferocious cyclones, and rising sea levels, particularly in places such as Tuvalu and Kiribati; and you have been living with this for many years, way before the world actually started talking about it,” he added. The Duke also proudly launched four (4) new Queen Elizabeth scholarships for students from the Caribbean and Pacific regions to support more young people in reducing the effects of climate change in their home countries. “These scholarships which are managed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities will support young people, to travel between these regions and study climate change and resilience atThe University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University and University of the West Indies,” he said. Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of USP Council, in his welcome remarks said it was indeed an honour for the University to host Their Royal Highnesses, especially as this is USP’s 50th Anniversary year. “There could not have been a better birthday gift for the University than this,” Mr Thompson said. He added that the British Monarchy is very special to USP as this University was established by a Royal Charter. Mr Thompson also highlighted some of the recent collaboration between USP and the British Government including an MOU signed recently on the joint bilateral programme on capacity building for International Maritime Organisation (IMO) negotiations. “The British Government provided funding (of $27, 946) to USP and the Government of the Republic of Marshall Island’s (RMI) joint initiative - the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST). This funding was for technical support to the Pacific Island IMO delegations to assist with preparations for the next round of IMO negotiations on combatting climate change,” he added.

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