Informal consultations on the high-level meeting on addressing the existential threats posed by sea level rise

Statement by the Micronesian delegation

New York, 12 April 2024

Thank you very much, Madame Co-Facilitator,

Micronesia aligns with the statements delivered today by Samoa (AOSIS), Fiji (PIF), and Vanuatu (PSIDS).  They comprehensively address general issues of importance for our groups, which we support.  We wish to provide additional general comments in our national capacity.  We will engage on the individual paragraphs of the modalities resolution when we get to them in these consultations.

First, Micronesia appreciates the comments made by delegations today about how SLR poses existential threats in various forms, particularly to SIDS.  We do stress, however, that there must be care in how the notion of “existential threats” is addressed by the HLM and the UN system at large.  SLR poses serious, potentially irreversible, and in some cases existential threats to the lives, livelihoods, security, and well-being of peoples around the world, as well as to the natural ecosystems on which these peoples rely for sustenance, shelter, and cultural heritage and practices.  However, the UN system must take care to avoid the impression that CC-related SLR poses an existential threat to the statehood and sovereignty of States under international law, among other legal elements.

Second, Micronesia echoes the interventions of those who support references in the modalities resolution to ongoing work on SLR in the UN system and in other parts of the international community, including the work of the ILC Study Group on SLR in relation to international law as well as the PIF and AOSIS Leaders Declarations from 2021 and 2023.   We stress, however, that the HLM must not supplant those ongoing workstreams and efforts, but should instead complement them and encourage their successful conclusions and implementation.

Third, Micronesia echoes the interventions of those who view the HLM as a stepping stone for future work by the UN system and the international community at large.  It is important for Micronesia, however, that future work by the UN system is initiated and led by UN Members in its totality.  The only way to ensure effective international action on SLR is for the entire international community to initiate and carry forward that work.

Finally, on the issue of a possible outcome document for the HLM, Micronesia echoes those interventions such as by Samoa on behalf of AOSIS that express caution about a negotiated outcome document, including a political declaration.  Such a negotiated outcome document could delve into ongoing processes on SLR, including the work under the UNFCCC, the ILC Study Group, and the Sixth Committee of the UNGA, and would thus likely be premature at this stage.  The HLM could still have a concise and action-oriented outcome document that is in the form of a summary that highlights those elements from the plenary interventions and stakeholder panels that are themselves action-oriented and feature solutions to SLR.  It will thus be important that the modalities resolution is clear that the HLM must itself be oriented towards actions and solutions, particularly in the interventions during the plenary segment and the guiding questions for the multistakeholder panels.  That way, a summary of the HLM will be able to feature those actions and solutions and help lay the foundation for future work of the UN system. I thank you!

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