Pacific leaders appeal to UN Secretary General

By Ivamere Nataro, 18 May 2019

Pacific leaders have called on the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, to help amplify their voice in minimising the impacts of climate change in the region.

Mr. Guterres joined delegations from around the region for the third Climate Action Pacific Partnership (C.A.P.P. III) in Suva Fiji this week. 

“The Blue Pacific – our great ocean continent, our thousands of islands, our strong and resilient people – is running out of time,” said the Pacific Islands Forum statement.

“We need to act now. Our survival and that of this great Blue Pacific continent depend on it. 

“All countries, with no caveats, must agree to take decisive and transformative action to reduce global emissions, and ensure at scale mitigation and adaption support for those countries that need it.” 

Climate change is the single greatest threat to our Blue Pacific region, it said.   

“If we do not, we will lose. We will lose our homes, our ways of life, our well-being and our livelihoods. We know this because we are experiencing loss already.  

“We have talked and debated about the science for years. Now we find there is no doubt. We are facing an unprecedented global catastrophe for our beautiful Blue Planet.  

“We must change this course. Limiting warming to below 1.5°C remains feasible and the only viable path. We urge all parties, at all levels, to act now. Our actions must be swift and they must be ambitious.” 

The Pacific leaders also pledged to continue to take decisive action as one Blue Pacific. 

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“We enacted the Boe Declaration to put climate change at the forefront of our collective security action. We have driven global advocacy on climate change and set ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions. 

“We have taken a world-leading integrated approach to tackling climate change and disaster risks through our Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific.”

The leaders also called on a more effective multilateral approach, and improving collective efforts at the international, regional, national and local levels. 

“Let us together seize the opportunity of the UNSG’s (United Nations Secretary General) Climate Action Summit to make the changes we need to reverse climate change.   

“To the major polluters – our today in the Pacific is undoubtedly your tomorrow.    Sea level rise in Tuvalu is sea level rise in New York, though one might go under before the other. 

“Climate change impacts will undermine – and potentially reverse – economic development, create instability and conflict, and threaten lives all over the globe. No one country or individual will be spared.” 

The Pacific is urging world leaders to listen and act, said the statement. 

“Act for all of us.  

“Act for our children and their children. 

“Act for our future. 

“Let us come together to save our Blue Planet. 

“This must be our legacy.” 

By Ivamere Nataro, 18 May 2019

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