United Nations, New York The displacement of local communities as a result of climate change, and the potential for conflict such displacement might cause, was an issue raised by the head of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in her talks with United Nations Secretary General BanKi Moon.
Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, was invited to New York by the United Nations chief to attend a high level retreat of heads of regional organizations to discuss the urgent need for closer cooperation between the world body and its regional partners.
“In addition to the better known climate related issues, I thought it was important to draw attention to the human cost of climate change in our part of the world,” said Secretary General Taylor.
“For people in the Pacific, unlike those in the more industrialized countries, the effects of climate change are immediate and they are dire,” she added.
“Pacific people have already been forced by climate change to leave their island homes and to seek new lives for themselves and their families in distant lands. It is very difficult for these islanders, and often challenging for the hosting communities,” she asserted.
Secretary General Taylor, raising the issue of United Nations mediation efforts, urged more attention be paid to the conflict between communities and the private sector over natural resources extraction.
Taylor urged the international body to focus on the potential for conflict over the access and uses of resources, in particular with regard to land and water resources.
She called for more cooperation between the United Nations and the international financial institutions and their mediation bodies, such as the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, which she reported, had during the course of its work, built capacity in many regions.
Discussions on advancing the building and the sustaining of inclusive peace promotion and the prevention of relapses into insecurity were also examined by the heads of regional organizations and the UN chief, along with the changing role of UN peacekeeping.
The former president of TimorLeste, and Nobel Peace laureate, HE Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, currently heading the high level independent panel on Peace Keeping Operations, showed a lot of interest in the region and thanked Dame Meg for the support he received from Pacific countries when he was seeking independence for his country.
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