Members, Statements

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner – UNGA Event 2020

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner – UNGA Event 2020

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H.E. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Climate Envoy of the Marshall Islands and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Culture

Kathy
Source: Climate Vulnerable Forum

H.E. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Climate Envoy of the Marshall Islands and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Culture

Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Event

October 7, 2020

YouTube Video of Speech

  • Iakwe aolep from the Marshall Islands. I am happy to be here today representing as Ambassador for Culture, as well as representing our islands at this important event. Culture plays an important role in our fight on climate change, and I look forward to the myriad of ways we’ll be employing the use of culture in our Countdown to Midnight Campaigns.

 

  • CULTURE AMBASSADOR, CVF RELATIONSHIP. VIRTUAL CONF. RMI LEDI agreed to this position of Culture Ambassador within the CVF because of my passion for the arts, and because of our relationship with CVF. Before COVID-19, CVF launched the first virtual conference hosted by the Marshall Islands. Marshall Islands, even with our limited capacity and access to wifi, were able to demonstrate creative, emissions cutting options to combat climate change. In this era of COVID, this has become a daily norm, and RMI is proud to have led the way first.

 

  • COVID ERA SHOWS CAPABLE OF CHANGE. INTERCONNECTIONS. CREATIVITY. CULTURAL CREATORS. DEEP EMOTIONS FOR SHIFTING CONSCIOUSNESS.

This era of covid has shown us that we are capable of enacting the changes necessary to adapt and protect our communities and environment. It’s also exposed the cracks in our systems and the ways our struggles are interconnected. And as we continue our work to advocate for climate justice, I hope we remember that creativity is what is needed to move forward. This is a structural, intersectional issue that requires out of the box thinking. Cultural creators have the capability to communicate this threat, to engage our deepest emotions to mobilize us and shift our consciousness towards a systemic change.

 

  • As Culture Ambassador I look forward to advocating for the power of culture as a means to tackle climate change. We’ll be promoting transnational artistic collaborations on climate issues involving different CVF members, commencing with the launch of the “Agam” poetry collective book in 2020, amongst other projects.

 

  • RMI PRACTICE OF BIRTHDAYS In the Marshall Islands a cultural practice is to celebrate our birthdays at midnight. I have memories of waking up bleary eyed to my 90 year old grandmother singing and clapping for me. I look forward to celebrating the countries that will bring their NDC’s forward at midnight – celebrating the birth of a new era of climate justice.

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