Ladies and gentlemen of the media thank you very much for your presence.
I want first of all to express my gratitude to the government and people Thailand for their extremely warm hospitality.
I want to say that I am extremely happy with the UN ASEAN summit that had just finished. Two years ago, I asked for a quantum leap in relations between ASEAN and the UN and we can, today, verify that that a quantum leap happened.
I am encouraged that this coalition, launched just six months ago, now has 44 members. Your efforts, under co-chairs Chile and Finland and with the support of the World Bank, are a vital part of our response to the climate emergency.
We are at a turning point.
Last month’s Climate Action Summit showed that the world is waking up to the crisis.
Leaders, businesses and others stepped up in impressive ways.
I'm an engineer, so I have a relatively accurate idea of the importance of data – not only in the work of the engineers, if we want our bridges not to fall and we want all telecommunications to work, but also in more and more in social sciences and more and more in relation to the humanitarian and development activities.
Let me start by recognizing Thailand, this year’s ASEAN Chair, for its leadership and valuable contributions.
Since its inception at the height of the Cold War, ASEAN has shown the value of regional integration and shared approaches to local and global challenges.
ASEAN countries have worked together to prevent war and address violent extremism. Like regional groups across the world, ASEAN has a crucial role to play, now more than ever, in conflict resolution and conflict prevention.
It is a great honour to address you today. The G77 and China are on the frontlines of multilateralism and of support for a strong United Nations, consistent with your founding principles.
I thank the State of Palestine for its effective Presidency of the Group. May I, Prime Minister, tell you how much we enjoyed the very close and effective cooperation with your Mission and with your Minister during our work this year.
We meet at a time of strong headwinds against multilateralism.
Welcome and thank you for your engagement and commitment on behalf of Small Island Developing States.
Many of the issues we have discussed this week have a disproportionate impact on these countries, so this is a welcome opportunity to focus on them.
The climate emergency represents the single biggest threat to their survival. In small island countries, one natural disaster can erode a generation of development gains. I have seen this in Barbuda and Dominica, and most recently in the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian was pure hell on earth.