Statement by the Hon Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at the high level meeting of COP 22 Marrakech

5 November 2016

Mr President, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Over the past year, we collectively contributed to the achievement of a historic turning point in the global fight against climate change. Our solidarity to commit to the cause was made more evident with the entry into force of the Agreement on the 4th of November a truly unprecedented global achievement. All Pacific small island states signed and ratified before then. The ‘rush’ in momentum should not be allowed to slow down, and that all countries that have yet to join the agreement must do so.

Mr President,

We have gathered in this wonderful city to determine how we can back up words with real action and in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. We want to ensure that the decisions we make here are not simply procedural but are time-bound and action oriented.

We have come together to identify linkages between human rights, gender equality and climate change. We have come to identify opportunities to collaborate and exchange knowledge and good practices, with a view to strengthen capacities to deliver responses to climate change, that are good for people and planet.

Mr President,

Marrakech, should be the start of strengthening countries’ ambition in line with the 1.5 degrees target and national long term country strategies. There is urgency in increasing nationally determined contributions over the next two years, if we are to avert jeopardizing the Paris Agreement’s essential temperature goals. Let us therefore, turn our attention to the built in mechanisms to assess progress and scale up ambition as they are indeed the action points! COP 22 should look to successfully concluding the 2016 facilitative dialogue and define modalities for implementation.

Mr President,

The need for a real balance between adaptation and mitigation expenditures as well as, finding ways to finance loss and damage, are essential to move the finance agenda forward. The same emphasis is championed in the SAMOA Pathway, the blueprint of the sustainable development agenda of small island developing states.

A review of the International mechanism for Loss and Damage suggests that it has not even moved close to delivering bold actions to protect the most vulnerable. COP 22 should look therefore to accelerating progress in the initiation of the 5-year rolling plan of the Loss and Damage mechanism.

Mr President,

Climate finance is particularly important for the special case of small islands developing states, given the significant amount of financial, technical, technological and capacity building support needed, to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Therefore we would call on the climate finance entities to expedite work, to facilitate access to such resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support.

The early release of the finance roadmap for providing US$100 billion annually is critical. However, Parties need to work together to improve on predictability and ensure adaptation and mitigation needs, will be adequately addressed through  new and additional public and grant based resources.

Mr President,

For the Paris Agreement to be universal, effective capacity building is critical to enable developing countries to facilitate fulfillment of their new requirements and transition towards low carbon and climate resilient economies. For this reason, we in the Pacific are looking towards the recently launched Pacific Climate Change Centre based at SPREP headquarters Samoa as the centre of excellence that will offer new opportunities to facilitate innovative ways to address the challenges of climate change in our region.

Finally Mr President I wish to thank the Government and people of Morocco for hosting this important conference and for the generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

Thank you for your attention.


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