Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change

Statement by the Delegation of the Federated States of Micronesia

Geneva, 28 June 2023

Mr. President,

I thank you for the opportunity to deliver this statement in my national capacity. Our islands are at the forefront of the adverse impacts of climate change.

Micronesia lies in the path of most typhoons in the western Pacific. Last month, our people witnessed the strength of a tropical storm and its destructive force.

Sadly, the adverse impacts of climate change are already upon us. The delicate balance in our complex and vulnerable ecosystems is at stake.

Climate change is drowning our islands due to sea-level rise; ravaging our coastal communities through increased extreme weather events; our coral reefs are being destroyed by increases in sea temperature. Our food security and our fisheries and agricultural sector are jeopardized due to warming oceans and salt-water intrusion and inland flooding damaging our crops.

Mr. President,

Climate change affects the human rights of all Micronesians. Women, children and people living with disabilities are facing difficulties we have never seen before. As a country, we have an obligation to support the most vulnerable and we are committed to do so, but how without resources and an Ocean is rising? We do not have an answer and we clearly need help. In addition, the right to food is undermined by sea-water intrusion on our islands, and by fish moving to colder water. Our people have a right to develop and we are charged to provide it.

Let me conclude by stressing that climate change is the single greatest existential threat to our culture, our way of life, and our very existence. It will not matter if those who contributed the most to green gas emission do not change their practices. We are the ones living with the consequences.

I thank you.

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