Port Vila, Vanuatu, 4 March 2011 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Regional Conference on Climate Change in the PacificIt gives me pleasure to greet all the participants in this timely and important ministerial regional conference. It is critically important for the Pacific Island countries to continue to raise their voices on climate change. Your communities are on the front lines of this global threat. Small island developing states are among those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts. You know first-hand the destructive potential of rising sea levels, more intensive storms and other hazards.
As we look ahead to the climate change conference later this year in South Africa, we must continue to make progress wherever we can in the international negotiations, and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to securing tangible agreements. That is the lesson of this past December's conference in Cancun. We must also continue to press for deeper emission cuts in line with what science is telling us is necessary. And we need resources for adaptation and capacity-building efforts, which
I know are a priority for many countries attending this gathering.
National action can and must lead the way in delivering clear results on the ground. I am pleased to see the efforts being made by some Pacific Island states to strengthen resilience and reduce disaster risk.
The United Nations share your concerns. We stand ready to assist your governments in efforts to reduce climate risks and respond to climate impacts. As you know, the clock is ticking. We must do whatever we can, wherever we can, as quickly as we can, to protect the most vulnerable. Please accept, in a spirit of partnership and shared values, my best wishes for a productive conference and for the success of our work to meet the full scope and scale of this challenge.