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Call for united front

Torika Tokalau
Friday, August 16, 2013

THE people of the Pacific need their leaders to work together to address the challenges of climate instability.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) deputy executive director Kate Gilmore issued the challenge at this week's Pacific Conference of Parliamentarians for Advocacy on the Implementation Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014 in Suva.

"These are uncertain times, your communities perhaps more than any other community around the world, sit not just at the frontline of that uncertainty but at its frontiers you are discovering, rattling, inventing, creating, inclusive, effective, anticipatory responses to some of the greatest challenges that the world will face in the coming decades," she said.

"Climate instability is at the forefront of the Pacific's experience, the challenges that brings in terms of migration, urbanisation, the expectations and aspirations of young populations across the region.

"These are frontier issues and they need the best of our creativity, most powerful innovation and strong leadership provision, they need us to work together."

Ms Gilmore praised the leaders for their work in their respective island states, saying there was much progress seen in the Pacific.

"Progress for women and young people in the Pacific has been remarkable and yet, there are still so much more to be done.

"And it's laying out that pathway forward across the many dimensions that we need to address if we want to advance universal access to the fundamental promised to us by birth right through the universal declaration of the human rights. When the millennium development goals runs its course in 2015, there will still be much work to be done."

She said the coming years was a period of greater instability and it was the teamwork and unity of Pacific leaders that was essential to the integrity of the global agenda.


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