Jamaica Deeply Concerned About Climate Change Challenges

October 3, 2015




Jamaica has expressed deep concern about the challenge posed by Climate Change, saying it is an “existential one” for the populations of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Foreign Affairs Minister Arnold Nicholson told the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Debate that the lives and livelihoods “too often hang in the balance” for SIDS’ nationals because of the threat of Climate Change.

“We, therefore, look toward the continued support of the international community for SIDS,” he said, adding that a key part of the work will be to ensure that, “as we implement the new development paradigm, we fully address the unique vulnerabilities of SIDS and the persistent economic and social challenges of countries in special situations, such as Middle Income Countries.

“This must include the adoption of approaches to measuring development that reflects the realities of our countries,” Nicholson said.

He told the international community that the devastation caused to Dominica by the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in August is yet another reminder of the devastating and disproportionate impact of natural disasters on SIDS.

“Jamaica joins the appeal to the international community to rally in support of the people of Dominica, by assisting in the recovery, reconstruction and humanitarian efforts that are required. It is an unfortunate fact that such events will certainly occur again. In fact, another member of our Caribbean family, The Bahamas, is now being pummeled by Hurricane Joaquin,” he said.

Nicholson said that in spite of this fact, the international community can assure the impact of the next natural disaster on “our small island and low lying coastal countries is lessened by helping us to improve our resilience in the face of these every increasing calamities”.

The Jamaica Foreign Affairs Minister said his country firmly believes that the successes recorded by the UN over the past years have reinforced the value of multilateralism as “the best framework for tackling global problems.”

He said the adoption of the SAMOA Pathway and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda are recent examples of commitment to collective action.

Nicholson said the next major test for multilateralism will come shortly when negotiations begin at the UN conference in Paris on a global agreement on climate change is concluded.

“We must capitalize on the momentum that we have generated throughout the year and work in concert to make the climate conference a success for us all. The sustainability of our planet and the prosperity of our peoples depend on a meaningful outcome.  We can and we must deliver for present and future generations.”

Nicholson said Jamaica’s “deep concern” about Climate Change “underscores the urgent need to protect our oceans and seas.”

As host of the International Seabed Authority, he said Jamaica views, “with considerable interest, developments that impact the preservation and sustainable use of the resources of the ocean for the benefit of mankind.

“We urge greater vigilance by all,” Nicholson said.

In his address, Nicholson said that the maintenance of international peace and security remains a “most urgent and demanding objective” of the UN and that the world now faces “increasingly complex, interconnected threats” to peace and security.

He noted that intra-state conflicts and terrorist activities have transformed the geopolitical landscape and increased the threats to international peace and security.

Nicholson also said transnational organized crime and the presence of weapons of mass destruction continue to threaten international peace and security, while the proliferation of conventional arms in the hands of non-state actors poses a “grave risk” to many countries and regions.

In the face of these crises, he said “our peoples look to the United Nations to find solutions to end human suffering.”

Yet, he said, the global body has been “impotent to respond in many of these situations, calling its credibility and relevance into question.

“We must admit that traditional peace and security responses have to date proven grossly inadequate in the face of today’s diverse conflicts,” Nicholson said.

The Jamaica Foreign Affairs Minister also said Jamaica “remains concerned” about the ongoing border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

“We, therefore, welcome the recent decision of our two neighbours to resume diplomatic dialogue, with a view to bringing the controversy to an early end,” he said.

Nicholson said Jamaica is “disheartened” that the international community “failed to seize the opportunity” provided by the 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons “to make significant progress on its commitment to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

“We must invigorate our disarmament efforts through new and more effective approaches,” he said, stating that Jamaica supports efforts to address the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and joins the strong call for the negotiation of a legally-binding instrument to prohibit their use, which is embodied in the recent Humanitarian Pledge endorsed by 114 States.

Of immediate concern to Jamaica is the proliferation of firearms “of every description, which endangers the lives of ordinary citizens, undermines the rule of law, threatens economic and social stability and fuels violent crime,” Nicholson said.

He said those who manufacture such weapons must exercise greater controls and support anti-proliferation efforts.

“The Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force less than a year ago, can make a significant contribution to such efforts,” said Nicholson, adding that Jamaica is, therefore, “pleased that the recent convening of the First Conference of States Parties has laid the foundation for the full and effective implementation of the Treaty”.





Re-posted from: http://antiguaobserver.com/jamaica-deeply-concerned-about-climate-change-challenges/

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