UPDATES FROM COP17: Grenada commemorates four years as Chair of AOSIS

“Let’s fight the fight. For the next two days let us not break and let’s hold together with one voice. We are the only one group that remains together united. In AOISIS if you touch one of us, you touch us all.” – Hon. Karl Hood, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Export Development and the Environment, Grenada.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) gathered in unity yet again last night to commemorate the work of Grenada and all members. Grenada became Chair of AOSIS in 2007. Next year the Chair of AOSIS will be held by Nauru.

Fourteen Pacific island countries are represented at COP17 under the banner of AOSIS. They are the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. “If this process does not work we are willing to take it to the international court of justice.

“Even though we leaving the Chair you still have our support, we will still be speaking but not from the Chair, we will still give our support to Nauru.

“Thank you for your support over the years since we were the Chair of ASOIS.”

President of Nauru, Hon. Sprent Dabwido

“This is my first COP but I am beginning to understand the enormous responsibility that Grenada has carried for the past several years. I would also like to recognize the efforts of Leon Charles who has maintained his steady hand on the rudder amid the chaos, Mr. Charles you have brought a depth of knowledge and understanding of the process to our group that has often left the rest of us in awe.

“Nor can I leave out the unsung heroes of AOSIS team who have cemented this group together.

“We will look to you Mr. Hood and your delegation to remain resolute in the face of countries trying to derail this process and we will be there in support of you in the final hours so we can make Durban a successful finish to a successful Chair.”

Mr. Leon Charles of Grenada, Chief Negotiator for AOSIS

“I have three thoughts to leave you with:

“Vision; when we started in 2007 we worked out that AOSIS has 120 people which put us on part with the bigger delegations and larger countries. We suggested the vision of one entity to focus on the items to move forward as one strong powerful group to cover every issue in an organized fashion.”

“Courage to change to do things differently when necessary; I encourage the group to be willing to look at new ideas and new ways of doing things. When circumstances change we must change to be effective.”

“Cooperation and teamwork; we can’t do this on our own, with 20 or 30 items you need a structure where information flows to the top.”

“It was a pleasure to serve you and we look forward to seeing AOSIS grow from strength to strength.”

A wise man once told me to go quickly you go alone, to go far, you go together.”

“Congratulations Nauru on your position of Chair, SPREP and fellow Pacific regional organisations are here to offer you support and assistance.”

(Ends)