Kiribati President Anote Tong urged the Pacific Islands Development Forum, which meets in Fiji this week, to issue a strong joint statement demanding that the world powers take action to halt climate change, local media reported Thursday (3 September).
“I don’t know what the problem is with those countries in having strong language. There’s a big problem and, if we don’t have strong language, we won’t have immediate action,” said the leader of Kiribati, a small South Pacific island nation and one of the ones most affected by climate change, in particular the rising sea level.
Tong is meeting with his counterparts from the region in Suva until Thursday (10 September), when the forum will issue a declaration emphasizing the 21st United Nations conference on climate change, or COP21, to be held in Paris from 30 November through 11 December, New Zealand-based Scoop reported.
On 2 September, Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, who is attending the forum as an invited guest, told the assembled leaders and other officials that “without determined and coordinated action on the national, regional and global level to deal with climate change and build sustainable economies, our entire future is threatened”.
Idrissov issued a call for a “new universal and ambitious accord under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change”.
Attending the third summit in Suva are leaders or top-level representatives from Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Also on hand is Thansak Patimapragorn, the deputy prime minister of Thailand, as well as delegations from Kazakhstan, Indonesia, the European Union, New Zealand, Britain, Belgium, Singapore, Kuwait, Israel, The Netherlands, Venezuela, Chile and the Philippines.