Posted by: islandsfirst | July 7, 2008

Islands Fight Back!

Faced with the existential threat posed by climate change and the stalemate of international negotiations, a group of small island nations is making a bold move to push decisive action at the United Nations. The UN missions of eleven Pacific island states, subsequently joined by the Maldives, have circulated a draft General Assembly resolution on “The threat of climate change to international peace and security“.

The resolution charges the Security Council to take up its responsibility to protect member states, as defined by the UN Charter. Whereas the UNFCCC process moves haltingly along, the Security Council has the authority to mandate binding measures – including, conceivably, caps on carbon emissions. With no time to waste, the resolution is on track to be tabled for a vote at the General Assembly this summer.

Your support in this David-and-Goliath political fight is strongly encouraged. The PSIDS press release is as follows:

The Permanent Missions of Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, commonly known as the Pacific Small Island Deveoping States (PSIDS) announced their intention to table a draft resolution in the UN General Assembly, requesting the UN Security Council to consider and address, as appropriate, the threat posed by climate change to international peace and security.

The draft resolution, which has just been circulated to the member states of the United Nations for consideration, stresses the responsibility of the Security Council under Article 24 of the Charter and also requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly on the international peace and security implications of climate change.

PSIDS leaders have repeatedly stressed that climate change threatens the territorial integrity and often the very survival of their nations. While many aspects of climate change have been dealt with in the wider UN framework, the implications on international peace and security have so far been neglected. The PSIDS further noted that the time was appropriate for the Security Council to start consideration of the item.

The PSIDS leaders also stated that climate change is a threat to all countries, but its effects will be most threatening for Small Island States, countries with low-lying coastal zones and Least Developed Countries. However, according to the PSIDS, the threats posed are increasingly recognized by all countries in the world, and the time has come for the Security Council to start deliberations.

More recently, Ambassador Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga, speaking on behalf of the PSIDS, addressed a UN General Assembly during a thematic debate regarding human security, on May 22nd, 2008, stating that “we believe the impacts on climate change have far-reaching consequences, and that these impacts pose a threat to international peace and security for affected nations, in addition to development challenges. Within our region, climate-related impacts intensify the competition for increasingly scarce resources and land, as well as threatening territorial integrity.”

Consultations are about to commence and the PSIDS are seeking the widest possible support for the draft, which is expected to be acted upon during the current (62nd) UN General Assembly. Further information can be obtained from the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga on 917-369-1025 or the contact person at the Mission Leah Lee on 917-421-6141.


  1. […] – the Imperative to Act“, it seemed an ideal occasion at which to bring attention to the draft resolution recently circulated by the Pacific Small Island Developing […]

  2. […] Island Developing States are coming from as they work toward acceptance of their recently proposed draft resolution, check out the following film, produced by TVE Asia Pacific. Global warming will raise sea levels, […]

  3. […] Science Fiction As support for the PSIDS draft resolution grows with the addition of co-sponsors such as Canada and the Philippines, Secretary General Ban […]

  4. […] GHG emitter, nor its phrasing, is reported to have hindered ongoing consultations on the PSIDS draft resolution, “The threat of climate change to international peace and […]

  5. […] show of support will be a valuable tool in ongoing consultations on the PSIDS draft resolution, “The threat of climate change to international peace and security”. Welcome, as well, […]

  6. […] Thanks again to all of you who signed Avaaz’s petition. Stay tuned for news of the PSIDS draft resolution’s […]

  7. […] haven’t heard from George. Where was he when the islands were fighting back at the United Nations? Likewise Nicholas Schmidle, who wrote last weekend in the New York Times […]

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