3 November 2014
Annual UNGA Debate: Representatives call on the international community to collectively address adverse effects of climate change
On the last day of the annual General Assembly debate on 30 September 2014, representatives of small island developing nations urged the international community for increased collective action to combat the adverse effects of climate change. The focus of this year’s discussion was “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”.
Ministers ‘cautioned that efforts to transition to a green economy will be undone if the international community does not take immediate and urgent action against climate change’. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Barbados pressed the international community to support and make provision for those states which are ‘both small island developing nations and highly-indebted middle income countries’.
Rimbink Pato, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Papua New Guinea, stressed that a “tipping point” had been reached by many small islands in the Pacific which are struggling to deal with the multifaceted impacts of climate change. While noting that Pacific SIDS must be active in managing the challenges of climate change by ‘working smarter and harder’ to alleviate risks to the livelihoods of those most affected, ‘the bigger and advanced countries of the world must not only do likewise but re-double their efforts partnering with us’. Mr. Pato called on the ‘international community, including the UN, to work together with SIDS in the spirit of genuine and durable partnership’ towards the conclusion of a legally binding agreement, particularly with the approach of the Lima and Paris United Nations Climate Change Conferences in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Ambassador Milan Meetarbhan, Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the UN, reiterated the potential for ‘a new page in the UN’s history’ and the urgent need for all Member States to ‘review their commitment to multilateral cooperation for peace, development and prosperity of all nations’.