News

UNGA Tackles Climate Change, SIDS and Disaster Issues

25 September 2010: The general debate of the UN General Assembly's 65th session started on 23-25 September 2010, in New York, US, with several speakers addressing issues related to climate change, disasters and small island developing States (SIDS).

In their statements, the representatives of the Governments of Marshall Islands, the Federated Stated of Micronesia and Kiribati highlighted the vulnerability of SIDS to climate change. They appealed to UN member States to address this challenge and start mobilizing the resources needed to mitigate its effects. The President of Timor-Leste said Asia has the financial resources, as well as the collective scientific and technological expertise among its economists, planners, managers, scholars and designers to seriously confront the problems caused by climate change. Stressing the urgency to act, he called on the region to lead the way on climate change. Saint Lucia underlined its commitment to achieving an ambitious, just and legally-binding agreement to address climate change. The Prime Minister stressed the need for those countries most responsible for carbon dioxide emissions to provide adequate financial resources for the development and transfer of technology for adaptation and mitigation to the most seriously affected countries.

Finland's President underscored the need to revise the current consumption and production patterns in many countries, calling for "green, equitable and inclusive" growth. She also expressed her country's commitment to a new ambitious climate agreement, and noted that the UN had to promote a new blueprint for low-carbon prosperity. The President of the Dominican Republic emphasized the increasing vulnerability to natural disasters, noting that most were caused by climate change. He said it was "imperative that the General Assembly approved possible guidelines as soon as possible to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and to protect the planet's biodiversity." He further suggested that the UN system create a world alliance of countries at risk, in order to exchange experiences, knowledge and best practices. [UNGA General Debate Website] [UN Press Release on Pacific Island Countries' Statements]