UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.
New York, – Pacific Islands Forum Leaders met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 26 September in the margins of the sixty-ninth session on the UN General Assembly’s general debate. “The United Nations is a critical partner for the region,” stressed the President of Palau, Hon. Tommy Remengesau Jr., who is also the current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum.
The UN Secretary-General recalled his recent visit to the Pacific region for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa. “The SIDS 2014 conference showed the whole power of member states coming together, that are all committed to work for the benefit of SIDS,” Ban Ki-moon said. “The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) should be high on the agenda of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the High-Level Political Forum. UN regional commissions are fully engaged in carrying out its provisions.” He reassured Forum Leaders that the UN system would work as one team to engage in the implementation of the Samoa Pathway.
Forum Leaders welcomed Ban Ki-moon’s message of partnerships with SIDS and congratulated him on his leadership at the Climate Summit earlier in the week. “We are committed to building on the momentum from SIDS 2014 and the Climate Summit as we work towards a meaningful, legal and binding climate agreement in Paris next year,” Hon. Enele Sopoaga, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu stated. “We encourage UN support for recognition of the synergies between climate change, disaster risk reduction and renewable energy.”
Forum countries will participate in the upcoming 20th session of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Peru, Lima in 2014 as well as the COP in Paris, France in 2015.
Forum Leaders welcomed the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. “We note with appreciation the inclusion of the important stand-alone goals on Oceans and Seas, Sustainable Energy and Climate Change,” stated Hon. Minister Rimbink Patu of Papua New Guinea.
The President of Palau and Forum Chair further advised that, “the Pacific Countries recognise the importance and need for broad partnerships, both public and private, to achieve our Pacific goal of a sustainable Pacific future.” The Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership and the Palau Declaration on The Ocean: Life and Future – Charting a Course to Sustainability provide clear direction on this.
The Secretary-General applauded Leaders’ commitment to gender equality through the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration and the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
Ban Ki-moon also applauded Tuiloma Neroni Slade for his years of leadership as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General.
A joint statement by the Pacific Islands Forum and the United Nations is expected to be issued soon, building upon the 2011 and 2012 statements between the two Organisations.