Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly today, President Waqa called on “friends and development partners to step up their assistance programmes.”
“Nauru's climate priorities fall into four categories: renewable energy, land rehabilitation, water security, and infrastructure proofing, and we are looking to build genuine and durable partnerships to achieve our objectives.”
“While the Paris Agreement was a historic diplomatic achievement, we must remember that we remain well off track from achieving its central goal of stopping warming below 1.5 degrees. Failure would be devastating for small islands, though we should not pretend that any additional warming is safe,” Mr Waqa said.
“Climate change will be the defining security challenge of the century, and we are simply not prepared for life on a hotter planet. For this reason, Nauru supports the proposal by the Pacific Small Island Developing States to appoint a UN Special Representative on Climate & Security, whose work must begin with an assessment of the United Nation's capacity to respond to climate disasters.”
Mr Waqa said in addition to safe climate, healthy ocean is important for the prosperity of Nauru’s people.
He added that there is a need to show ambition in tackling the mounting threats to the health of our ocean.
Mr Waqa highlighted the threat of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing and transnational crimes that occur within the waters of Nauru and her neighbours that cause economic loss to the country’s small economy.
“I call on our friends and partners to continue existing programmes such as the shiprider agreement and other ongoing bilateral cooperation with the United States, and the maritime surveillance programmes provided by Australia and New Zealand. We look forward to partnering with other law enforcement agencies throughout the Asia-Pacific and beyond.”
“For the people of Nauru to benefit from these global efforts to protect our climate and ocean, we will need to build genuine and durable partnerships - partnerships based on mutual respect and a clear understanding of the real needs on the ground,” President Waqa said.
Photo UN Media. Caption: Nauru President Baron Waqa addresses the UN General Assembly