|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Statement on Meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders,
UN Secretary-General, in New York on 27 September
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today with the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss recent developments in the Pacific region and to look at ways to enhance cooperation between the Pacific Islands Forum and the world body.
During the meeting, the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, His Excellency Christopher J. Loeak, presented the Secretary-General with the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, adopted on 5 September at the forty-fourth meeting of Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Majuro, Marshall Islands.
President Loeak said: “Forged on the frontlines of climate change’s devastating impacts, we hope the Majuro Declaration will be a ‘game changer’ in the global fight against climate change, and quickly accelerate the transition to the low-carbon economy. The world must now seize this moment, and follow the Pacific’s lead to ensure a safe climate future for all.”
In presenting the Declaration, President Loeak called it a “Pacific gift” to the Secretary-General, in support of his own efforts to accelerate and scale-up action on climate change as he begins preparations to convene a Climate Summit in September 2014.
In his speech to the General Assembly earlier this week, the Secretary-General challenged world leaders to bring bold pledges for more concrete and ambitious action that will close the emissions gap and put the world on track to adopt a strong, legally binding treaty by 2015.
During today’s meeting, Pacific Islands Forum leaders and the Secretary-General discussed the need for stronger political will to address climate change and the region's aspirations for a successful third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, with the theme of “the sustainable development of [small island developing States] through genuine and durable partnerships”, to be held in Samoa next year, as well as the United Nations’ post-2015 development framework.
The Secretary-General said: “Climate change is the greatest single threat to our sustainable development agenda and to our long-term security. Pacific Islands are among those that contribute least to global warming, yet suffer most. I congratulate you on the adoption of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership. I commend your resolve to be ‘Climate Leaders’, and I join you in your call to others [to lead through action].”
Pacific Islands Forum leaders and the Secretary-General also addressed the implementation of their 2011 and 2012 Joint Statements that identified a wide range of areas in which cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific would support the national and regional priorities identified by Pacific Islands Forum leaders.
The Secretary-General stressed that strong collaboration and partnerships were a key contributing factor to more resilient, prosperous and peaceful Pacific Island countries.
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