President Mori Gives Keynote Address to Tällberg Forum in Sweden
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): June 30, 2009 - On June 25th, 2009, President Manny Mori stood before a crowd at the Tällberg Forum in Sweden and gave the keynote address. The theme of this year's forum was "How on Earth can we live together within the planetary boundaries?" President Mori's address mainly focused on the realities of climate change and how it is affecting the islands of the Pacific.
The President began his address by familiarizing the audience with geographical background information on the FSM and then gave a brief history of its people, highlighting the fact that Pacific Islanders have always lived in harmony with their natural surroundings, and only recently have they begun to awaken to the reality of climate change. President Mori said that climate change is a "threat to our very existence that has now become our major preoccupation of this 21st century."
President Mori also said that, "It has always comforted islanders to regard our remoteness from the developed world as our primary protection against external dangers. Sadly, with the growing environmental attacks that we now face, including global warming, our comfort has been taken away from us. Now our islands are among the first to experience the adverse impacts of climate change and sea-level rise, even though our contribution to its causes are negligible. Our remoteness can no longer insulate us." He went on to say, "as the rest of the world continues to debate the causes and effects of climate change, for the people of Micronesia, climate change and its effects are real and ever-present. Today, our people are already a living witness to its terrifying impacts."
He spoke about the effects that will ultimately happen, "the eventual disappearance of many small islands, including such island-states as the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Maldives. And many, if not most, small island states will become uninhabitable. This is why the Pacific Island Members of the United Nations were pushing that body to acknowledge that climate change has significant implications on national security and on the existence of nations and their peoples." The President also explained the Micronesia Challenge; a commitment by five jurisdictions within the Micronesian region (FSM, ROP, RMI, Guam and CNMI) to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.
The President ended his address by saying, "At this particular juncture in the history of our planet, when Mother Earth is being threatened on an international scale by global warming, I believe it is time to initiate a global dream of the world that humanity wishes to see in the future. The carving and shaping of this dream should begin for real in Copenhagen at the end of this year. While the climate negotiators from our respective countries have been busy trying to fashion a world to dream about, they have faced the daunting tasks of overcoming selfishness and self-serving national interests. To safeguard the future existence and sustainability of small island states, and, in the end, every nation on this earth, we must take the hard course in Copenhagen, towards immediate and strong response to global warming. This must include agreement to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, cut emissions by 45% by 2015 and by 85% by 2050, and stabilize CO2 at less than 350 parts per million equivalents."
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