To the Second Session of the Genereal Assembly Interactive Thematic Dialogue on Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and New and Renewable Sources of Energy

UN Headquarters , New York, 18 June 2009

H.E. Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan,
Vice President of the Republic of Maldives,
Excellencies,
Dear Friends,

I am pleased to open the second session of this day-long Assembly discussion about energy efficiency, energy conservation and new and renewable sources of energy. This morning we heard how important our energy polices are to the meeting the commitments to the Millennium Development Goals as well as the enormous challenges posed by climate change. We were reminded in different ways how solving energy, food and water problems in developing countries takes us a long way to meeting the related MDGs.

This afternoon, we will explore the policies and investment needed to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. And -- a great concern of mine -- how we can ensure that these key investments are sustained in the midst of the prolonged recession that is provoking so much uncertainty in development planning.

We are honoured to open this session with a keynote address by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan, Vice President of the Republic of Maldives. It is very appropriate that the leader of a small island state provide us with his unique perspective on the challenges that face so many of the least developed and landlocked countries nations arising from the energy/climate-change nexus. Developing countries are already suffering the consequences of climate change, especially the small islands, like Maldives, that face rising sea levels.

Let us explore the need for funds, capacity, science and technology for adaptation and vulnerability assessments and policies to mitigate the impact of climate change. We must identify ways to fulfill existing financial obligations under the Climate Change Convention.

There is also a need to reorient development policies, including those of the World Bank, towards preventive adaptation, disaster reduction policies and risk-management.

A few weeks ago, the sixty-third session of the General Assembly adopted by consensus a landmark resolution on “Climate change and its possible security implications”. It calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries for achieving the objectives of the Climate Change Convention, taking into account the global nature of climate change and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The United Nations and its organs must now intensify their efforts in considering and addressing climate change, including its possible security implications.

I think we are seeing more clearly that the interconnection of climate change, energy security and efficient use of energy resources are all issues of strategic importance for ensuring sustainable development, access to energy and eradication of poverty.

Likewise, Member States, particularly the most vulnerable, see the need to find a path that leads to sustainable development through clean energy. All of us should see this as a moral imperative – an urgent duty to protect our fellow brothers and sisters from small island states and least developed countries.  I look forward to seeing how this discussion unfolds.

Thank you.

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