Mr. Jeem Lippwe
Deputy Permanent Representative of the
Federated States of Micronesia to the UN
on behalf of the
Pacific Small Island Developing States
Eighteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, 3 May 2010
Check Against Delivery
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States represented at the United Nations, namely, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and my own country, Federated States of Micronesia.
The Pacific SIDS align themselves with the statement given by the distinguished delegate of the Solomon Islands on behalf of AOSIS and we join others in congratulating the members of the bureau on their election.
The CSD is an important occasion to recognise the progress made by the international community towards sustainable development. Yet, it is also an alarming reminder of how much more remains to be done, and the tragic consequences that will result if the current rate of resource exploitation continues. The world's poor, including in the Pacific, are at the front line of our collective failure to act.
In improving our progress towards implementing Agenda 21, we must take advantage of this review year as we work towards the high level meeting on the Mauritius Strategy, the MDG Summit and the high level meeting on biodiversity. This exceptional confluence of global meetings is a unique opportunity to agree an action plan to transform international commitments into concrete action to address overuse and inequities in resource consumption.
The Pacific SIDS wish to highlight three issues in today's opening that are critical to the sustainable development of our region.
First, one of the challenges Pacific countries face in fully implementing sustainable development is access to international finance. We seek the cooperation of our partners in developing a "Pacific Template," - that is, a set of project financing guidelines endorsed by relevant stakeholders, that streamlines access to development funding for Pacific Island communities.
Secondly, many Pacific countries depend on marine resources for food security and as an essential pillar of sustainable economic growth. Yet, marine resources are being depleted by actions beyond our control. As noted in the Secretary General's report (E/CN.17/2010/3), the world's oceans have lost more than 90 percent of the large fish that humans rely on for food, income and other purposes. More fish are caught now than the oceans can replace.
We seek real commitments from the international community for transformative action in the management of fish stocks to ensure sustainability and greater economic self-sufficiency for our region. We look forward to this being reflected in the political declaration emanating from the high level review of the Mauritius Strategy.
Finally, we cannot talk meaningfully about sustainable development in the Pacific, unless we address the very real possibility some of our islands may no longer be inhabitable in the future, and some may be totally submerged as a result of the impacts of climate change.
The international community must urgently increase its action in responding to the climate crisis. We are alarmed by the lowering of ambitions for the UNFCCC meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
We seek a legally binding agreement at the end of this year, with ambitious emission reduction commitments that will ensure the survival of all small island developing states.
We also reiterate our call for the relevant UN organs, including the Security Council, to take up the security implications of climate change as a matter of urgency.