02 April 2014

Secretary-General's message to Pacific Launch of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All [delivered by Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Count

I congratulate the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Government of Fiji on the launch of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All in the Pacific region, as well as hosting this important meeting

The Pacific Islands are demonstrating real global leadership in our shared efforts to make a much-needed transition to a new era in energy use and production. The ground-breaking Majuro Declaration on climate change includes clear renewable and energy efficiency targets. Tokelau has become the first territory in the world to generate 100 per cent of its power from renewable energy, while our host, the government of Fiji, is demonstrating its commitment to support sustainable energy for all through concrete actions.  These and other efforts are helping to point the way to a sustainable future.

Your countries face special challenges -- from climate change and rising sea levels to restricted markets and high costs for conventional energy. I witnessed some of these enormous challenges when I visited Kiribati in 2011.

That is why the General Assembly declared the period from 2014 to 2024 as the United Nations Decade for Sustainable Energy for All. And that is why I established my Sustainable Energy for All initiative: to bring together all stakeholders in an effort to create the transformative change in the world’s energy systems.

Because you are on the front lines, you know that we are at a pivotal moment and that more needs to be done. You know that the world’s appetite for energy continues to grow, and the global thermostat continues to rise.

There are climate solutions with a demonstrated track record of success. They are feasible, affordable and they can bring economic opportunity that supports our sustainable development goals.

I therefore urge your governments to continue to be ambitious as we move forward with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process. Member States must deliver a global and legally binding agreement by 2015. Sustainable energy is also a central issue in discussions on the post-2015 development agenda.

Through your leadership in establishing 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States; through the upcoming SIDS conference in Samoa, and through partnerships such as the Pacific Regional Data Repository, you are sending a powerful message of regional commitment to efficient, renewable and affordable energy solutions.

In June, I will organize the first Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York, followed by the Climate Summit at the United Nations in September. I urge you to ensure that the voices of Small Island States are heard loudly and clearly.

Thank you for your engagement and support.