Sunday, September 28, 2014

President Mori Addresses Climate Change and Other Key Issues at UN General Assembly

President Mori addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 26, 2014
(New York, September 26, 2014): President Emanuel Mori addressed the 69th United Nations General Assembly Friday afternoon, referencing recent world events and raising issues of importance to Micronesia and other small island developing States. In particular, he focused on the theme of climate change and again highlighted Micronesia’s proposal to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the greenhouse gases HFCs.
The President first extended his sympathies to the families of the victims of recent tragedies, including the passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, those beheaded by ISIS and victims of the Ebola epidemic and of natural disasters worldwide.
Introducing the subject of climate change, the President said, “We are all stewards of God’s Creation here on Earth. The bounties of Mother Nature are priceless.  We all bear the obligation to sustainably manage them.”
He called on major polluters to rise to the challenge and tackle climate change, and, in this regard, he expressed support for the World Bank carbon pricing initiative. He also applauded recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund, capitalization of which will be key to supporting the post-2015 development agenda.
President Mori underscored the importance of adopting an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, which Micronesia has championed for five years. He explained that reducing HFCs and other short-lived climate pollutants can reduce the rate of sea-level rise by 25%, and he pointed out that this near-term climate mitigation would give atolls around the globe a chance of survival.
He drew attention to two articles in the most recent issue of The Economist magazine, which validate Micronesia’s HFC proposal and describe the enormous potential of the Montreal Protocol to protect climate.
A portion of the President’s statement was dedicated to national action, including the National Energy Policy, the Climate Change Act, the Nation Wide Integrated Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Policy, and the Agriculture Policy. The President called on development partners to continue to support Micronesia through these existing policies and programs.
He stressed the critical importance of assistance to implement the actions outlined in the SAMOA Pathway and to fulfill the prospective Sustainable Development Goals. He also endorsed the “One-UN Approach” for country-level attention in the North Pacific. He cited telecommunications as a key area for economic and social development, noting with appreciation the support of the World Bank to install a state-of-the-art fiber optics system.
The President denounced Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and wasteful discarding of bycatch. With respect to tuna and other marine resources, he said that Micronesia must receive fair compensation for the value of its resources. He also addressed the issues of non-communicable diseases in the Pacific and the despicable practice of human trafficking.
He called for reform of the Security Council but also expressed confidence in the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. He said Micronesia looks to the United Nations to effectively address the global security threats posed by climate change. He closed his speech by stating: “All countries must work together to protect our children’s future.”

The full text of President Mori’s statement is available for download here:

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