Pacific Nations at UN Want Urgent Action on Climate Change
Pacific Nations at UN Call for Urgent Global Approach to Mitigate Climate Change
New York, Sep 28 2013 - Pacific countries, some of them threatened with extinction from rising sea levels, took to the podium of the United Nations General Assembly today to call for an urgent global approach to mitigate climate change, voicing concern at the lack of progress so far.
“Climate change is no longer an environmental or political issue,” said Deputy Prime Minister Vete Palakua Sakaio of Tuvalu, a low-lying country of atolls in the direct line of onslaught from rising oceans.
“It is a borderless human security issue. Everybody must act to urgently reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and provide adaptation,” he added, echoing concerns already expressed by other leaders of small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) at this year’s 68th Assembly General Debate.
On a new post-2015 development agenda to succeed the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cycle, the theme of this year’s 68th Assembly, he stressed the importance of partnerships. “The UN continues to be a beacon of hope and through strategic advocacy, and awareness-campaigns, brings the real issues and current events into the consciousness of the public and membership to propel action and redress,” he said.
“The scale of challenges can only be addressed by reforming ourselves, the UN and each member country.”
Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga of the Solomon Islands called for a new spirit of partnership to reform the global economic architecture. “Climate change remains a global issue that needs a global solution,” he said.
“We join all SIDS and LDCs in conveying our concern on the slow progress of climate change negotiations. The alarming pace of climate change is posing unprecedented threats to humanity’s survival.”
Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion of Papua New Guinea called for SIDS to remain a special case for sustainable development as the UN draws up a post-2015 blueprint for long-term sustainable development for the decades following the end of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cycle.
“The adverse impacts of climate change continue to be of serious concern to the global community but especially for small island developing States,” he said. “While contributing the least to this threat, small island countries are not only suffering the most from the serious impacts of climate change but also run the risk of being submerged by rising sea levels...
“We therefore reiterate the challenge to the international community to accept its responsibility and leadership role.”
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