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Thomson Calls For Action On Ocean, Climate Change

Thomson Calls For Action On Ocean,  Climate Change
President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Peter Thomson and Solomon Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs Milner Tozaka during the United Nations Ocean Conference Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
March 17
11:00 2017

Peter Thomson says youth involvement in climate change and oceans advocacy platforms can make stronger and faster progress.

The president of the United Nations General Assembly made his remarks at the Japan ICT Centre at the University of the South Pacific yesterday.

“We must all be part of driving the transformation to sustainability. I am calling upon each of you today to join me and the rest of the activist community in driving implementation of the 14 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr Thomson.

He encouraged the youths to share their knowledge on how to save the environment and to amplify the message across the Pacific.

“Saving the world is complex,” he said.

He said the oceans makes up 98 per cent of our region with our culture tied to it.

“Our oceans are also our essential source of food security and wellbeing,” he said.

He added that the stakes were high for us because as a region we know that human activity is very difficult to control especially in the Pacific Ocean.

Plastics, jars and rubbish could be seen circulating in the South Pacific, North Atlantic and Indian Ocean, according to him.

“You find that we have degraded our ecosystems due to agricultural and industrial activities which are some of the things that contribute to climate change,” he said.

He said there was an equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute of every day.

“The good news is that human problems have few solutions and that is what the Oceans Conference is about,” he said.

“We should be there to support the implementation of the 14 Sustainable Development Goals. It is a very comprehensive issue to solve.”

He encouraged everyone to be agents of global change and to formalise constructive ways to achieve the SDGs.

“Be citizens who demand urgent and responsible change from those around you,” he said.

The event is co-hosted by USP and the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The United Nations Oceans Conference will take place in June this year.

Mr Thomson is the first ambassador from the Pacific region to be elected as the President of the UN General Assembly. Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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