Agenda item 18: Sustainable Development
Statement by Jeem S. Lippwe
New York, 11 October 2022
Micronesia aligns itself with the interventions made on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and on behalf of the G77 and China. First we like to congratulate you and the members of your bureau to your election.
Micronesia above all values “Peace, Unity and Liberty”, a phrase embedded in our national seal. In this regard, we denounce the unprovoked attacks on Ukraine by Russia. The war has impacted every country, disrupting supply chains and threatening food security, especially for already vulnerable countries, evident in my own country through our shortage of much needed supplies and resources.
It goes without saying that the effects of Covid-19 have been far and widely felt. COVID-19 disrupted our lives, jobs, economy and our way of life. The effects are only exacerbated by the ever-growing climate crisis. We extend our thanks to partners who provided continued assistance helping pave the way for our road to recovery, as acts reflecting the benefits of global peace and partnership.
Consistent with our policies, Micronesia affirms our support for promoting economic growth while also protecting the environment, as evident in our swift ratification of the Paris Agreement. For Micronesia, Climate change is the single greatest existential threat to our culture, our way of life, and our very existence.
As conveyed by the latest IPCC reports, we are approaching increasingly dangerous tipping points, especially for countries already vulnerable to even a minute change. The Pacific islands produce less than 0.03% of all greenhouse gas emissions and yet, we are in the frontlines. We have already begun to build our homes further inland; we send our fishers further into dangerous waters for food; and we have begun to grow salt-water resistant staple crops in preparation for sea- level rise, saltwater intrusion, and extreme weather events as the rising sea begins to push us off our islands into a desolate and unknown future. The 1.5-degrees pathway of the Paris Agreement must be achieved. 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 commit to achieving net zero by 2050. Our very lives depend on it.
Micronesia is a big ocean state. With less than 1% land and more than 99% Ocean, it is an integral part of who we are; our cultures, traditions and traditional knowledge, our economy and our way of life. Micronesia is responsive to the realities of sea-level rise, building upon the foundation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and adopting national and regional practices to preserve our maritime zones.
We signal our dedication to the global effort of protecting our Ocean and its resources through the Pacific 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent; a strategy adopted by our leaders to promote regional cooperation as we face a common global threat. Additionally, we support the 30×30 initiative for protecting at least 30 percent of the global Ocean by 2030, and we are committed to finalizing and implementing as soon as possible a robust and ambitious BBNJ instrument.
To conclude, we must strengthen our collective ability to respond to these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Micronesia is committed to working closely with all delegations in the Committee towards our common goal of achieving the 2030 Agenda, leaving no one behind. In this respect, we look forward to start the process leading towards the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States.
I thank you.