Ban pledges UN aid to small Pacific island states in fighting climate change

Xinhua News:

Friday, 26 September 2014

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday pledged continuing assistance of the world body to small island developing states (SIDS) in the Pacific in their battles against climate change and in their transition to democracy.

The secretary-general made the remarks while speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in New York, which was held on the sidelines of the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly.

Ban lauded Pacific Island countries for their "strong position" on the sustainable development of the world's oceans.

The secretary-general 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," Ban told the gathering, adding 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.

Citing the Samoa Pathway, the Conference's outcome document formally known as the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway, Ban said the agreement should be "high on the agenda" of the General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the High-Level Political Forum.

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.

Ban also 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," he said.

The secretary-general welcomed the recent elections held in Fiji on Sept. 17, applauding the Fijian people "for exercising their constitutional right to vote."

"I hope this election will advance Fiji's transition to democracy," Ban said. "The United Nations fully supports this goal. "

Read story: Xinhua News

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