Pacific Forum Leaders Confirm France's Support in the lead up to COP 21

Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Republic of France met in Paris yesterday at the 4th France-Oceania Summit.

Forum Leaders also welcomed France’s commitment to support Pacific Island Countries in the pursuit of a legally binding and ambitious international climate change agreement at 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21).

"We expect COP 21 to lead to a universal, legally binding, dynamic, durable and ambitious agreement that will establish rules and mechanisms to limit global warming consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention." reads the Declaration.

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders also advanced a number of climate change priorities that were agreed to at their meeting in Papua New Guinea in September.

In particular, Leaders called for the inclusion in the Paris outcome of loss and damage as a critical and standalone element for building resilience against climate change impacts, including responding to extreme weather and slow onset events, and builds on the ongoing work of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

Leaders drew attention to the specific challenges of Pacific island countries and territories, asking that there be rapid, and where possible, direct access to funding for adaptation and mitigation in relation to the effects of climate change. 

Leaders shared the values and objectives of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism adopted at the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau in 2014, and also recognised the value of further strengthening the relationship between Oceania and France and the French territories of Oceania through regular dialogue, including the organisation of the 5th France-Oceania Summit. They acknowledged the commitment to hold biennial high-level talks between France and the Pacific Islands Forum Chair in this regard

Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor led the Forum Secretariat Team to the Summit, which was also attended by representatives from the Pacific Secretariat (SPC) and the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The Summit was also attended by representatives from other regional and international organisations.