Agenda item 68: Human Rights General Discussion
Statement by: Micronesian Delegation
New York, 21 October 2023
The delegation of Micronesia congratulates you, Mr. Chair and your bureau on your election, and assures you of its full support.
It is concerning to see a reversal of the hard work achieved around the globe and especially in our Pacific region in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of armed conflicts and the climate crisis have threatened progress toward achieving the Global Goals.
FSM was successful in vaccinating its citizens and indeed one of the last places to experience a COVID-19 outbreak, but it did not come without a cost. The lockdowns and travel restrictions have had a devastating effect on our nation economically and socially, particularly for our women and children.
Micronesia stands in solidarity with the countries that have yet to receive the needed vaccine to reach all its citizens. We must be truly inclusive and remove any barriers that hinder anyone from receiving the vaccine. No country should be left to fight this pandemic alone.
Micronesia is a country that values all its citizens. We are dedicated to providing equal opportunities to all our citizens through scholarships that have provided opportunities for women and girls to pursue their education and achieve their career goals.
We have more women taking on important leadership positions than ever before in our private and public sectors. In addition to the federal level, women are now part of state legislatures; they are also represented in key positions in the Judiciary both in state and the national government; three out of ten of President’s cabinet members and the Chief of Staff to the President are women.
Women are represented and led in crafting our Universal Periodic Review and the Voluntary National Review to ensure that their voices are heard and that their interests are included in our goal towards our achieving the SDGs.
We are striving towards equity in our public education system for all including for our children with disabilities are afforded to them to pursue their dreams as mandated by our Constitution. At the national level, we have put in place a National Policy on Disability which promotes awareness and inclusion of rights-based societies, including the needs and privileges for persons with disabilities.
Climate change has a human rights Component and we cannot ignore it. We must be proactive and face the hard truth that in the near future, the detrimental impacts of climate change will be irreversible.
Women, children, and persons with disabilities are often the first to be affected by the climate crisis. The people of Micronesia and the Pacific are already experiencing its impacts and soon, if not now, the whole world will face the same crises.
Despite all the positive achievements we have accomplished, climate change continues to threaten our way of life. In our small island developing state, we are living with its consequences. Our progress and achievements will be for naught if nothing is done to curb its existential threat.
The 1.5-degrees pathway of the Paris Agreement must be met. We urge all countries to update their nationally determined contributions to align with the 1.5-degrees pathway within this current, critical decade of action as well as to committing to achieving net zero by 2050. Our very lives depend on it.
My country values the rights of all individuals, especially women, children, and persons with disabilities and we will continue to work with our partners at the UN to come up with solutions that will benefit us all.
I thank you.