Enele Sopoaga

Tuvaluan politician and diplomat Enele Sopoaga

Enele Sosene Sopoaga is a Tuvaluan diplomat and politician. His served as deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Environment and Labour in Prime Minister Maatia Toafa's short-lived government from September to December 2010. Following an unsuccessful bid for the premiership in December 2010 (with Toafa's support), he became leader of the Opposition to Prime Minister Willy Telavi's government.
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  • 2015
    Age 59
    Prime minister Enele Sopoaga said at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) that the goal for COP21 should a global temperature goal of below 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels, which is the position of the Alliance of Small Island States.
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    Following the 2015 general election, Enele Sopoaga was sworn in as prime minister on 10 April.
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  • 2014
    Age 58
    At the 20th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2014 at Lima, Peru, Sopoaga said "Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing my country.
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    On 16 January 2014 prime minister Enele Sopoaga established the National Advisory Council on Climate Change, which functions are “to identify actions or strategies: to achieve energy efficiencies; to increase the use of renewable energy; to encourage the private sector and NGOs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to ensure a whole of government response to adaptation and climate change related disaster risk reduction; and to encourage the private sector and NGOs to develop locally appropriate technologies for adaptation and climate change mitigation (reductions in gas).”
  • 2013
    Age 57
    Sopoaga made a commitment under the Majuro Declaration, which was signed on 5 September 2013, to implement power generation of 100% renewable energy (between 2013 and 2020).
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    As prime minister, Enele Sopoaga has worked on international effects to address the problems resulting from global warming in Tuvalu. In September 2013 Sopoaga said that relocating Tuvaluans to avoid the impact of sea level rise “should never be an option because it is self defeating in itself.
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    He was sworn in by Italeli on 5 August 2013, and created his ministry the same day.
    Sopoaga became prime minister in a caretaker capacity following the dismissal of incumbent Willy Telavi by Governor-General Iakoba Italeli on 1 August 2013.
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    He became caretaker prime minister on 1 August 2013 following Telavi's removal by the Governor General, in the context of a political crisis.
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  • 2012
    Age 56
    In early 2012, he criticised the Telavi government's decision to establish formal diplomatic relations with "countries that have unsettled political issues of concern to the international community" – namely, namely, Abkhasia, South Ossetia, and Armenia (the latter in the context of its territorial dispute with Azerbaijan).
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  • 2010
    Age 54
    In 2010, he decided to go into politics, and stood for Parliament in the general election on 16 September 2010.
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    He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Environment and Labour in Prime Minister Maatia Toafa's short-lived government from September to December 2010.
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    Sopoaga was elected to Parliament in the 2010 general election.
  • 2004
    Age 48
    He promoted a number of high-profile Tuvaluan politicians back to cabinet, including Vete Sakaio who was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Utilities; and Maatia Toafa, who was appointed Finance and Economic Development' Maatia Toafa was previously the prime minister of Tuvalu from 2004 to 2006 and again in 2010.
  • 2002
    Age 46
    He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from January 2002.
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  • 2001
    Age 45
    He subsequently served as his country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001 (when the Permanent Mission of Tuvalu was established) to 2010.
  • 1995
    Age 39
    From 1995 to 1996, he was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Sports and Human Resource Development.
  • 1992
    Age 36
    He then served as the Permanent Secretary (the highest civil service position) and European Union National Authorizing Officer within the Tuvaluan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Planning from 1992 to 1995.
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  • 1991
    Age 35
    Sopoaga was the acting officer within the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economic Planning from 1991 until 1992.
  • 1986
    Age 30
    He was the Assistant Secretary and European Union National Authorizing Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs (three years), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Planning (two years), both between 1986 and 1991.
    He became the Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Social Services in 1986.
  • 1980
    Age 24
    From 1980 until 1986, Sopoaga served as an Education Administrator within the Ministry of Social Services.
  • 1956
    Age 0
    Born on February 10, 1956.
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