MR. MARTIN ZVACHULA,
REPRESENTATIVE TO SECOND COMMITTEE
PERMANENT MISSION OF
THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
BEFORE THE SECOND COMMITTEE
ON AGENDA ITEM 95:
ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
New York, October 20, 2000
Check Against Delivery
Since it is the first time my delegation takes the floor in Second
Committee in the present session, we would like to take this
opportunity to congratulate you on your election to this office as we
congratulate the other members of the bureau. My delegation is
convinced that under your skillful leadership we will be able to
bring the Committee's work to a successful conclusion. We would also
like to thank the Secretariat for preparing the very comprehensive
reports in front of us.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the
distinguished representative of Nigeria on behalf of the G77 and with
the statement to be delivered by the distinguished representative of
Samoa on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.
Within the last several hundred years, the onset of
industrialization and technological advance has created a
multi-national appetite for luxury and consumption that seems
unquenchable. But compelling scientific evidence tells us today that
this headlong pursuit, if not moderated within the twenty-first
century, threatens the lives of all our descendants and the very
habitability of the planet that we so recklessly continue to abuse.
It is clear that the United Nations and especially the Second
Committee, has a full and compelling agenda for the coming century.
All nations of the world, developed and developing, must approach the
crucial problems our environment faces with far greater commitment to
timely progress than exists today if, during the Twenty-First
Century, the world is to be made a more secure and habitable place
for all its peoples. In my small-island nation, for example, we grow
increasingly alarmed over the glacial progress of the world community
toward taking even minimal first steps to confront the indisputable
threats posed by human-induced global warming and its consequent
Appeals for new commitment and political will have been made for
years, but have rarely been listened to. My delegation, however,
chooses to take encouragement from the emergence of great processes
sponsored by the United Nations during the last decade, including the
agenda for environment and development, the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity,
and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, to name only a few.
All these Conventions must acquire a sense of urgency which is not
now present, if the United Nations is to remain truly our best hope
for the future.
The ocean is a critical component of the livelihood of island
people like us in Micronesia. The vast oceanic area under our
jurisdiction has been a source of livelihood not just for us but also
for other countries and requires careful management to preserve it.
Preservation of this resource and maintaining its marine diversity is
critical to everybody's future.
Agenda 21 and the Barbados Program of Action on Small Island
Developing States remain the basic guidelines for protecting the
environment and achieving sustainable development. Action is needed
to implement the objectives of Agenda 21 and we are looking forward
to the ten-year review of the UN Conference on the Environment and
Development (UNCED) in 2002.
The Federated States of Micronesia is committed to achieving a
successful outcome to the Conference of the Parties (COP VI) of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November. We
welcome the formulation of specific tools such as the Clean
Development Mechanism, which promise to be useful in enabling island
countries to do our part to combat climate change, and to adapt to
its consequences within the parameters of our own national
circumstances. We give priority to have the Kyoto Protocol come into
force at the earliest possible date and urge all countries to sign
and ratify it as early as possible. It is however tragic that we have
arrived at a stage where prevention alone is not sufficient. Now we
have to adapt to the very climate change while the ones responsible
for it will be the least affected.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.