Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna has called on development partners to put aside their self-interest and profit motivations and join the Pacific in the fight against climate change.

Puna told the Carnegie-SPF 3rd annual Indo-Pacific Islands Dialogue in New York, there is no secret that climate change is our greatest single security threat.

“We have gone far beyond the threshold of mere tokenistic support now. We need support that forces the change that we need to see.

“On ambitious and effective climate action, we have consistently advocated for the need to see ambitious commitments that will keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The question has to be asked– how can we ensure stronger accountability through multilateral processes? Put simply, the work to be done is very clear. We call on our development partners to put aside your self interest and profit motivations and join us in our fight against climate change.

“Our very survival and that of our future generations is on the line. While we have continued our strong advocacy, we have also steadily built pioneering actions on climate globally these policies globally. For example, championed by Vanuatu, we have made ripples in international law with the call for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. Similarly, the leadership by Tuvalu through the advisory opinion to the international tribunal on the Law of the Sea, a progress of which I have been following very closely and with great interest,” said Puna in the margins of UN General Assembly.

SG Puna said the Pacific cannot and should not be forced to constantly live under the threat of climate change and climate induced disasters while those most responsible for global warming continues to drag their feet when it comes to real and effective climate action.

“We need to expedite and finalise the ongoing discussions on global climate finance by COP 28 including the funding arrangement for loss and damage and the new collective quantified goals.

“We need urgent climate action and advocacy now.

“We need to see a strong commitment to elevate ambitious and urgent climate action, now,” said Puna.

He said the Pacific have introduced watershed political pieces that will trailblaze new areas in international law, such as the declaration of Preserving maritime zones in the face of climate change related sea level rise, and to address climate finance access challenges.

“We have designed the Pacific Resilience Facility, a Pacific-led and owned financing facility to address our ongoing finance access issues and to help build resilience at the community level.

“I cannot underscore enough the importance of genuine and long-lasting partnerships, particularly to us in the Pacific. As we continue the voyage on this journey together. I can only hope that we will do so in a manner that is respectful of each other. I hope that we will continue to learn from each other and with each other as we forge a future for our countries, our regions, and indeed for our humanity,” SG said Puna.

This story was written by Pita Ligaiula, originally published at PACNEWS on 19 Septmeber 2023.

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