Majuro, 5 September 2013/ ACP: The ACP Secretary General H.E Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni warned that failure to act on climate change “would lead to catastrophic consequences” for the Pacific Islands.

“I believe the exposure of Pacific communities to the dangers of climate change is common global knowledge – it is a reality, it is affecting livelihoods, peace and security, causing threats to water and food security and the forceful displacement of peoples. Climate change must be addressed today with a sense of urgency,” he said in his address to the region’s Heads of State and Governments at the 44th Pacific Leaders’ Forum (3-6 September) in Majuro, Marshall Islands. (Read the full address)

The Secretary General underlined that the ACP Leaders’ Summit also recognises climate change as one of the most serious, immediate and long-term threats that undermine the achievement of sustainable development and the very survival of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, in particular the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and landlocked countries in Africa.

With 36 ACP Group members listed as SIDS by the UN (out of 38 in total), Mr Mumuni pointed to the upcoming 2014 SIDS conference in Samoa as an opportunity for the Pacific region to “assert its position” while “exploring feasible means where substantive progress can be made, as well as identifying pragmatic actions”.

“From an all ACP level we will continue to explore how best we can support the Pacific with respect to mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” he said.

Mr Mumuni applauded the European Union, the ACP Group’s biggest partner, for its commitment in the area of climate change, as shown in the signing of the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience Programme in the Pacific.

The programme is the Pacific component of ACP cooperation with the European Union on Disaster Risk Reduction, designed to bring much-needed synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change. The ACP will support the Pacific ACP to ensure the sustainability of the results.

The Secretary General addressed the Pacific leaders on Wednesday and will remain in Majuro until Friday for bilateral meetings and the post-forum dialogue for development partners. The ACP Group has been an Observer member of the Pacific Forum since 2011.

Read the Secretary General’s full speech here

(Pictured: Pacific heads of state and government in Majuro for the 44th Pacific Leaders' Forum/ Photo by Marian Kupu)

– ACP Press