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Secretary-General Says Small Island Developing States Should Amplify Their Voice to Give Moral Weight to Call for Global Action on Climate Change
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29 Jun 2015 - Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Climate Change, to the event: “Building Genuine and Durable Partnerships in Combatting Climate Change”, organized by the Pacific Small Island Developing States, in New York today:

I am pleased to send greetings to this important event. The world’s small island developing States (SIDS) are on the front lines of climate change. Many SIDS countries and developing countries and communities in the Pacific and Indian Oceans face an uncertain future as sea-level rise threatens their territorial integrity. Losses from climate change are already placing a strain on fragile economies of all small island development States.

At the same time, we know that there are climate solutions with a demonstrated record of success, but they need to be scaled up to tackle the full dimensions of this grave challenge.

These solutions are feasible, affordable and can bring economic opportunity that supports our sustainable development goals. Low-carbon, climate-resilient development can create decent jobs, support livelihoods, expand equality and access to sustainable energy, build more resilient cities and enhance the health of both people and the planet.

I share your concerns over the slow progress made by the international community in addressing climate change. Now is the time for you to amplify your voice and for the world to see your continued leadership. The unique plight of SIDS gives moral weight to the call for urgent global action and higher ambition.

Last year’s third International Conference of SIDS highlighted genuine and durable partnerships as the key means of addressing today’s challenges, including climate change. With the SAMOA Pathway, we have a strong and pragmatic blueprint for building the action and support needed to help SIDS transition to a low-carbon and sustainable development future.

Those partnerships will take on even greater importance as we look towards next year, when we will begin to implement the sustainable development goals and the other decisions taken at this year’s milestone gatherings in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris.

Finance will be critical for further enabling SIDS to advance their efforts. I am very happy that the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme was accredited as one of the first implementing entities to the Green Climate Fund, which positions Pacific SIDS to be among the first group of countries able to benefit from the Fund’s support.

As we continue on the road to Paris, I will work with leaders to develop a politically credible pathway to the $100 billion per year commitment by 2020 that was made in Copenhagen, so that we can turn the partnerships you are talking about today into realities on the ground.

I am counting on you to continue to provide leadership in the lead-up to Paris. Now more than ever, we need your voice and your example.