Remarks by the Pacific Islands Forum Chair
Hon. Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
at the G7 Summit
Session 7 – Common Endeavour for a Resilient and Sustainable Planet (including Climate, Energy, Environment)
20 May 2023: 6:25pm – 7:55pm – Hiroshima, Japan
Prime Minister Kishida,
Colleague Leaders and Heads of International Organisations,
The Pacific has long worked towards ensuring our resilience and sustainability, but for too long, our calls for the world to prioritise climate action have not been heard.
Despite contributing less than 0.03 percent of carbon emissions, we the Pacific are among the first to suffer the catastrophic impacts of climate change due to our severe vulnerabilities.
In the Pacific, our peoples’ homes and livelihoods are being lost to rising tides and cyclones.
Our food security is threatened by droughts and floods.
Ocean acidification threatens our reefs and fish stocks.
As the custodians of nearly 20 percent of the earth’s surface, we are committed to combatting the ongoing threats of climate change; loss of biodiversity and habitats; waste and pollution.
Our success on the frontline of this global fight is the world’s success.
But like in any fight, if the frontline falls, so too will the rest of us.
The Pacific’s greatest allies in this fight are those who are actively reducing carbon emissions, implementing the BBNJ Treaty, reducing pollution in our oceans and pursuing nuclear non-proliferation, universal disarmament, and total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Our greatest allies will partner with us to protect our Blue Pacific Continent on our terms, in line with our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific continent.
As G7 Leaders, you carry the hope of our survival in your hands.
To say that the weight of the world lies on your shoulders is an understatement – the future of our very survival hangs in the balance.
Your leadership and advocacy on achieving the collective ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is critical.
I urge you to join our voices, demonstrate leadership through your actions at national level and elevate your advocacy with partners globally.
Our Pacific Ocean, our Blue Pacific Continent is our home, and we respect our role as stewards of over 40 million square kilometres of Ocean ‘real estate’.
It is a mantle of ownership which led to the UNCLOS and new BBNJ outcomes and has driven other world-leading declarations and intentions aimed at ensuring there’s a living ocean legacy for future generations to enjoy.
The Pacific Ocean is inseparable from Pacific peoples, cultures, economies, and societies.
We have put in place a range of international instruments to underpin our advocacy and frame concrete actions and policies.
These include the International Court of Justice Advisory on Climate Change, the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of climate change-related sea-level rise and in very near future the Normative Declaration on Statehood and Protection of Persons affected by a sea-level rise.
We call on you as G7 and partners for your recognition and support on these initiatives.
On climate finance, we urge you to recognize climate-related debt, separately from operational debts.
We need innovative financing modalities that do not increase our debt.
We need commitments and investment in Pacific led climate funds, such as our Pacific Resilience Fund, that will support resilience building through Pacific tailored responses and provide avenues for immediate action to climate induced disasters.
We urge you to work to ensure that the $100 billion SDR relocation target is achieved in full.
We call on G7 leadership to exceed 0.7% of Gross National Income to ODA and further, to lead the work on the review of the national income status criteria, particularly for Small Island Developing States.
And, perhaps most importantly, we call for ambitious commitments on the phase out of fossil fuels.
We call on the G7 to expeditiously implement relevant measures to prevent and effectively manage climate change, marine pollution and litter including through land-based sources in accordance with international law.
We need to urgently work together towards a sustainable planet, where we prioritize the protection of our environment, the promotion of clean energy and the mitigation of climate change.
We gather in this place, Hiroshima, which epitomizes resilience, life, and the power of humanity when we work for the collective good.
Let us put people before politics, and human life before profit, and let us ensure a living planet, for our common future.
Kia Orana e Kia Manuia. –ENDS
LINK TO G7 COMMUNIQUE AND RELATED STATEMENTS