Save Tuvalu, Save the World: Deputy Prime Minister

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Vete Palakua Sakaio, Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu

The Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu has urged the international community to help save his island nation from the effects of climate change.

Vete Palakua Sakaio, who addressed the UN General Assembly on Saturday, wondered whether his country will survive the rising waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Tuvalu celebrates its 35th anniversary of independence on 1 October, but he questioned what future awaits succeeding generations.

"Can we tell our children and grandchildren a story of continued survival on our God-given peaceful islands? Or do we have to tell them that the world, under the United Nations, this noble body, can no longer save their future due to climate change and sea level rise? As we will celebrate the continuing vibrancy of democracy and rule of law and our political independence in Tuvalu with great pride, we also appeal to the world, please save Tuvalu against climate change. Save Tuvalu in order to save yourself: the world."

The Deputy Prime Minister called for greater action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for global warming.

He said climate change is no longer an environmental or even political issue; rather, it is a "borderless humanitarian security issue."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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