STATEMENT BY THE COUNCIL OF REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS IN THE PACIFIC
Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
27 July 2018
Grand Pacific Hotel
Honourable Leaders; Ministers; Excellencies; Ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for the opportunity to address you today, on behalf of and as the Chair of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific.
From the outset, let me reaffirm that the CROP agencies remain united, coordinated and ready to provide support and assistance to ensure a successful outcome for the Pacific region from COP 24 and beyond.
With ongoing developments at the global level presenting real challenges to achieving urgent and strong action on climate change, the need for a clear, strong and united approach as a region is even more relevant. Our Leaders have acknowledged and emphasised the strength in our solidarity and provided us with a powerful narrative with which to do this – the Blue Pacific.
The Blue Pacific represents our collective identity, drawing on our common connection to the Pacific Ocean and as the largest oceanic continent. The Blue Pacific calls for a renewed commitment to work together to advance Leaders’ vision under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism – a Pacific region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity. It is about harnessing our collective strengths to address our shared challenges.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges threatening our Leaders’ vision for the region, and it can only be addressed collectively. We must bolster our efforts to work together as the Blue Pacific – driving the resilient development of our region, while advocating for strong and sustained international action to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.
At every opportunity we must continue to reaffirm the Pacific’s leadership, exemplify our solidarity and determination, and draw attention to the great efforts that the region is undertaking to meet the challenges before us.
As a region, we have developed the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific – providing a global lead in ensuring an integrated approach to climate change, disaster risk management and low carbon development. We have recently launched the Pacific Resilience Partnership Taskforce, to provide an all-stakeholder approach and innovative platform to drive, enhance and promote resilient development. Work is also underway to develop a Pacific Resilience Facility which intends to strengthen the collective resilience of Pacific Island countries through providing greater financing options for resilient infrastructure in our Countries.
Actions at the regional level are reflective of what is happening at the national level with Pacific countries making great strides to ensure they are on course to fulfil the objectives of the Paris Agreement while at the same time generating sustainable development outcomes.
It is imperative that the region stays the course and calls for the global community to deliver greater ambition and action on climate change, particularly as we look to COP 24. The paramount objective should be to galvanise and mobilise large emitters, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at an accelerated rate.
We must also ensure that COP 24 delivers a ‘Rulebook’ that will drive implementation and accountability for the Paris Agreement. We need to see greater access to scaled-up climate finance and increasing support for Loss and Damage. We need the outcomes from the Talanoa Dialogue to be considered when launching enhanced ambition.
We as CROP stand ready to provide our expertise through scientific advice, technical support, capacity building and convening and coordination – to achieve the negotiating priorities for the Pacific region.
Lastly, let me congratulate and thank the Fijian Government, the COP23 Secretariat and the Climate Action Pacific Partnership for coordinating this meeting. I am grateful to the support provided by countries, stakeholders and partners, as we seek to maximise our collective impact.
I thank you.