Unitec Pacific Centre advisor takes on new role

Press Release – UNITEC

Malia Talakai, Principal Academic Advisor, Pacific Centre for Learning, Teaching and Research at Unitec for the past two years will be leaving Unitec for a while to take on a broader role as a diplomat. She will assume her post as Deputy Lead …Unitec Pacific Centre advisor takes on new role as Climate Change envoy

Malia Talakai, Principal Academic Advisor, Pacific Centre for Learning, Teaching and Research at Unitec for the past two years will be leaving Unitec for a while to take on a broader role as a diplomat. She will assume her post as Deputy Lead Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which sits under the auspices of the Government of Nauru’s Mission to the United Nations.

Malia will take up this role beginning next year. She will be working closely with Ambassador Marlene Moses of Nauru, who will take over as Chair of AOSIS in January 2012. The AOSIS team is based at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Malia, whose multidisciplinary background includes law and anthropology, has been actively involved in issues of biodiversity, climate change and social justice in the Pacific since her student days at the University of Auckland. Her advocacy has allowed her to travel the world, attending conferences in New York, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Geneva, and Bonn, among others.

Her diplomatic duties have already begun with her attendance, on behalf of the Nauru Government, in the 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the 7th session of the Meeting of the Parties (COP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol which will be held in Durban, South Africa from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The commitment period stipulated in the agreement ends in 2012, a crucial year for negotiating further commitments on behalf of small island nations.

‘This is a great opportunity for me not only in terms of professional development and learning but also in terms of contribution to the Pacific. I can see a lot of what I will learn in this process enhancing my work here at Unitec and with the Pacific,’ Malia says.

“I’m excited to work with and learn from Ambassador Marlene Moses. She’s very passionate about the issues and has great energy. I’m confident she will be a great chair and leader for the team,’ she adds.

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