Secretary-General's remarks at his meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders [as prepared for delivery]
New York, 27 September 2013
I am pleased to welcome you to this second meeting of the United Nations and Pacific Islands Forum Leaders.
I would like to thank the Cook Islands for hosting our first-ever meeting here last year. I congratulate the Marshall Islands on assuming the Chairmanship earlier this month and on the successful Forum Leaders meeting in Majuro.
I was honoured to be the first UN Secretary-General to attend the Pacific Island Forum in Auckland two years ago and am committed to ensuring that our bonds continue to grow.
Indeed, the Forum and the United Nations are becoming closer partners, including through the implementation of the ‘Auckland Joint Statement’ of 2011 and another Joint Statement adopted a year ago in New York.
This meeting is particularly timely, as there are many important events on the horizon that could have a significant impact on the Pacific region.
I am deeply grateful to Samoa for agreeing to host the International Conference on Small Islands Developing States in September 2014. I commend your proposal to make partnership the focus.
Now that we are entering a new phase in Conference preparations, we must focus on ensuring an innovative, transformative and action-oriented outcome.
Your continued engagement on the post-2015 development process is also vital.
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 on Climate Leadership. It recognizes pressing challenges and needs. I commend your resolve to be “Climate Leaders” and your commitment to act – and I join you in your call to others.
As you know, climate change is a top priority for me and for the UN system. We need to secure a universal, ambitious and binding climate agreement in 2015, and I believe we can achieve this goal together. I count on you, Climate Leaders, to help show the way.
Next September, I will host a Climate Summit to provide a platform for leaders – and I invite all of you to attend. Together, we must all work to raise political will and action for an ambitious, global, legal agreement that sets the world on a less than 2-degree Celsius path. I look forward to the commitments to climate action that your Governments and others will bring to this important gathering.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Pacific region is changing rapidly. The United Nations is very aware of the shifting geo-political dynamics and the increasing involvement of Pacific countries in regional and global issues.
We are expecting important transitions over the coming period with elections next year in many of your countries -- including Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga -- and a critical referendum between 2015 and 2020 in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
In the Solomon Islands, the draw-down of the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, continues.
The UN system stands ready to work in partnership with your Governments on all of these important transitions.
Maintaining peace and security, and upholding human rights and the rule of law are vital for ensuring durable progress in the region.
The United Nations remains committed to continue working with you to increase your capacity to address these issues and to achieve your governance and development goals.
We must work to align our priorities and objectives. In this regard, we look forward to further continuing to strengthen our partnership with the PIF under the leadership of the Marshall Islands.
I now welcome your views.
Statements on 27 September 2013
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea [scroll down for French version]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council on the situation on Syria
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement by the Middle East Quartet
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to event on the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute [delivered by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel, and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the report of the IPCC Fifth Assessment
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Annual Coordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs [delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Eighth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting on Enhancing Preventive Strategies for the Responsibility to Protect [delivered by Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the death of a peacekeeper for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Cooperation for the Rule of Law at the International Level
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Global Counter-Terrorism Forum [delivered by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at signing of Declaration on Establishing a Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy For All [as prepared for delivery]
- Stockholm, Sweden, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's video message on launch of IPCC Working Group I Report
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message on World Tourism Day