NZ Prime Minister shows climate leadership at the United Nations

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby before speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK, 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 (PACNEWS) – New Zealand has shown climate leadership at the United Nations in New York – with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern assuring world leaders that her country will ensure that coastal states baselines and maritime boundaries will not change as a result of human induced sea level rise.

PM Ardern’s commitment will be welcomed by Pacific leaders, particularly the smaller island states like Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshall Islands – who’ve raised their concerns about losing their maritime boundaries due to sea-level rise.

“We recognise that climate change poses a security threat to vulnerable nations, including our Pacific neighbours, said PM Ardern.

She said climate change brings new challenges to international legal frameworks.

“As climate change causes sea-levels to rise, coastal states face the risk of shrinking maritime zones as their baselines move inward.

“We are beginning work on a strategy to achieve the objective of preserving the current balance of rights and obligations under United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“Our goal is to find a way, as quickly as possible, to provide certainty to vulnerable coastal states that they will not lose access to their marine resources and current entitlements. We seek your support as we work to ensure that these states maintain their rights over their maritime zones in the face of sea-level rise, said PM Ardern.

The New Zealand Prime Minister was in Nauru earlier this month for her first Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting and heard first-hand the concerns from Pacific Leaders.

“You are all here today because you understand the need for global action to solve this global problem. My government is committed to leadership both at home and abroad, she told world leaders in New York.

PM Ardern also committed NZ$300 million (US$199 million) for climate-related development assistance over the next four years in the Pacific.

“New Zealand’s home region of the Pacific we will work with others to support stronger and more resilient infrastructure, strengthened disaster preparedness, and low-carbon economic growth through both our funding commitments and by bringing good ideas to the table.

On the international stage we are pushing for the reform of fossil fuel subsidies; the $460 billion (US$306 billion) spent each year that works against climate ambition and could be better spent on building resilient societies…

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