At meeting with Pacific island leaders, Ban urges progress on climate change fight

United Nations News Centre:

26 September 2014
– Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today lauded Pacific Island nations for their “strong position” on the sustainable development of the world’s oceans and underscored the United Nations’ continuing role in assisting the region’s small island developing states (SIDS) in their battles against climate change and in their transition to democracy.

In remarks delivered to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in New York, Mr. Ban said he was “impressed by the energy and determination of the peoples of the Pacific to confront and overcome our pressing challenges” of climate change, recalling that in his recent trip to the region, he visited a displaced community still reeling from the effects of a 2009 tsunami.

“It was a stark reminder of the effects of climate change,” Mr. Ban told the gathering, adding that he was “deeply encouraged” by the commitments, partnerships and pledges made by Member States at the recent UN Conference on SIDS, held in the Samoan capital of Apia.

In particular, the Secretary-General pointed to the Samoa Pathway, the Conference’s outcome document, formally known as the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway, stating that the agreement should be “high on the agenda” of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the High-Level Political Forum.

In its 124 points, the Samoa Pathway includes actions for categories ranging from “sustained and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth with decent work for all” to “climate change” and “health and non-communicable diseases.”

At the same time, Mr. Ban emphasized the importance of reaching a consensus at next year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, known as COP21.

“I am doing everything possible to press for the adoption of a meaningful, legal climate agreement next year,” he continued.

“And we are shaping a post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals that address the vulnerabilities and needs of all countries, including small island developing States.”

The Secretary-General also welcomed the recent elections held in Fiji on 17 September, applauding the Fijian people “for exercising their constitutional right to vote.”

“I hope this election will advance Fiji’s transition to democracy,” Mr. Ban said. “The United Nations fully supports this goal.”

Read story: United Nations News Centre

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