Fiji calls for urgent action to stop sinking of small island developing states

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Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji and Commander of the Fiji Military Forces. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The Prime Minister of Fiji has called for urgent action to save small island states in the Pacific from slowly sinking as a result of rising sea levels.

In his address to the UN General Assembly on Saturday, Josaia Bainimarama said these nations are facing what he called "enormous challenges."

He identified those challenges as population growth, the sustainable use of the ocean's natural resources and sea level increases caused by climate change.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said those rising sea levels threaten to engulf some of the Pacific island states altogether.

"I repeat here what I have said in other forums that history will judge the world's major carbon emitters extremely harshly unless they take immediate and comprehensive steps to reduce emissions. It is simply not acceptable in moral terms for the world to allow the small island developing states to sink slowly beneath the waves because of the selfish determination of industrialized nations to protect their own economies. Time is fast running out and I beg you all to act." (29")

Mr. Bainimarama said the rising sea levels are already forcing the evacuation of coastal villages in Fiji.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'16"

 

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