“The Pacific depends on the world’s ratification of the Paris Agreement to urgently tackle the challenges of climate change for our islands,” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea said today when he and fellow Pacific island Leaders met United States President Barack Obama in Honoulu, Hawai’i, under the auspices of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders meeting.
With the goal of improving relations with the United States of America in alignment with regional priorities, Pacific Leaders shared their concerns on Climate Change, Oceans, Fisheries, Trade and Upper Airspace Management. In his opening remarks as Chair of the PICL and Pacific Islands Forum, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill welcomed the chance for open dialogue.
“We have the opportunity at this conference to further build a strong and united voice, to work with our United States counterparts, and strive for action on matters that are important to the region.”
Pacific Leaders met with President Obama to voice shared concerns in hopes of strengthening political and economical partnership in the region.
In their joint statement presented to President Obama, Pacific Island Leaders said, “[We] commend the leadership of President Obama leading up to COP21 in Paris and urge the US Government to join our countries and the international community in ratifying the Paris Agreement, and to prioritise support for the implementation of key commitments and obligations under the Agreement. In this regard, we seek the US’s political support to facilitate simplified access to climate finance for the Pacific island region, through the Green Climate Fund Board, and other climate finance entities.”
President Barrack Obama assured Leaders that the U.S. remains committed to ongoing support to the Pacific, realizing their vast ocean states are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and its rippling consequences on the Pacific environment, economy and lifestyle.
He also reassured the Leaders that the threats of transnational crimes and Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing are real, and will continue to work with countries to strengthen security measures.
Leaders of the Pacific gathered in Honolulu, Hawaii from 30-31 August to attend the 10th Pacific Island Conference of Leaders with the United States of America, entitled Enhancing Sustainably in our Pacific Islands: Collective Action for our Shared Future.
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Click here for the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders Statement to President Barack Obama and the Government of the United States of America.