Pacific Supports Midnight Survival Deadline & UN Climate Rapporteur
2020 Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting
October 16, 2020
The following statement was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a Troika Member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum:
The Honorable Casten Nemra, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, welcomed the outcome of the virtual 2020 Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on October 14, and stated the following:
“The diplomatic leadership of the whole Pacific Islands Forum continues to show its seriousness today in the combat against climate change. In endorsing the creation of a dedicated new UN Special Rapporteur on climate change and human rights, the Pacific Region will remain at the forefront of ambitious new actions to uphold rights threatened by the climate emergency facing all society.
We look forward to working with the entire region and the international community as well as within the UN Human Rights Council, to secure this vital new mandate for overcoming the climate crisis by next year.
If a Special Rapporteur is in place, we will have a high level UN official that can comment on the extreme events, advise states on a continuous basis about whether or not their climate mitigation and adaptation policies are helping to uphold rights, and to make all countries’ implementation more effective and meaningful. And this mandate could help us unlock far more potential from the whole UN human rights system to uphold the rights of those worst affected—and we all know the atoll nations are at the frontlines.
The Pacific Region also reaffirmed at ministerial level our determination to uphold the Paris Agreement and deliver new, more ambitious nationally determined contributions, or NDCs, in this 5th anniversary year of the landmark international accord. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, new climate ambition in the Pacific is indispensable to our building back better.
The Pacific also welcomed the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate initiative and called on the global community to mobilize for developing urgent new efforts to combat climate change in 2020. The survival of the Marshall Islands and vulnerable groups the world over depends on it. We will continue to work through all fora – the UN and UNFCCC, CVF, PIF, MPS, CAN-CC, and the High Ambition Coalition convened by RMI, to secure our future through these efforts before the year’s end.”
The outcome of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting paves the way for the Pacific Leaders to determine the region’s priorities moving forward, building on the momentum and recommendations of today’s outcome, advancing the regional and global climate response.