by Matilda Bartley, Deputy Permanent Representative,
Permanent Mission of Samoa to the United Nations
IGC 5 BBNJ
26 August 2022
Madam President, I make this statement on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States. On Day 2 of the IGC, we reaffirmed our commitment to this process and our firm hope in making this the Fifth and Final IGC. At this juncture, we are disappointed that we have not completed the work that we came here to do.
As we have said many times, not only to you but to all in this process, the Pacific SIDS came, with good faith and willingness to negotiate and conclude the BBNJ instrument. We live very far, and it is not cheap to travel all this way from our region–USD$260k for 24 people to travel for this IGC. This may not seem like much to some, but to us it is a substantial investment. This money was not spent on roads, on medicine, on schools. It was spent here, to bring a full delegation. And the figure is only a drop compared to what we
have spent leading up to today. This shows our commitment.
We do acknowledge the substantial progress that has been made in several areas in the instrument, including on issues of deep importance for the Pacific SIDS. We recognise that there have been many, hard won and ambitious gains. We recognise also that we have made hard compromises on issues which have always been of importance for us. Going forward, we must preserve the necessary choices we have made, maintain the gains we have achieved, and finish what we have started.
Madam President, we recognise and applaud you and your team for all the incredible work you have done during IGC 5 to take us forward. You have done an excellent job in balancing the various interests and ensuring transparency and inclusivity in discussions around these incredibly complex topics. We have faith in your leadership and ability to bring this ship into harbour at the right moment. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the hard work of all the facilitators, and hope that we can continue to rely on your leadership into the next stages of negotiations.
The Pacific came here in good faith, and we will continue to do so until we conclude this Conference in the very near future.
I thank you. –ENDS
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