The Pacific region has lost a truly passionate environment advocate who fought for a fair and equitable response to the impact of climate change by industrial nations, in the passing of Tony deBrum on Tuesday (August 22), a former Government Minister and Climate Ambassador of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. For the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in particular, Tony de Brum will also be remembered as an ardent fighter for his country’s independence and for his persistent advocacy for nuclear justice.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor has, on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat members offered heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Tony deBrum, who finally lost his battle to cancer.
“I honour his legacy and mourn his loss with the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Pacific,” Dame Meg said.
“I will remain forever grateful for the immense wisdom, shrewd foresight and absolute commitment with which he led the region on issues very dear to us all – that of climate change and in the International Court of Justice on nuclear issues. Issues both very close to the heart of every Marshallese and Pacific Islander.
“For me, personally, his tenacious efforts in Paris at COP 21 in 2015 was truly inspiring, particularly as I had just begun my tenure at the helm of the Forum Secretariat. He embodied the best balance of western and Pacific culture in the pursuance of his diplomatic duties in the international arena right to the very end.”