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SIDS Samoa - Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
3 Sep 2014 - SIDS, the UN Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia, Samoa is focusing on creating partnerships to help small island states to cope with their geographical and environmental vulnerability and foster their sustainable development. Climate    ...Read More
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SIDS Samoa - Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
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SIDS, the UN Small Island Developing States Conference in Apia, Samoa is focusing on creating partnerships to help small island states to cope with their geographical and environmental vulnerability and foster their sustainable development. Climate Change is a central point of almost all discussions in Samoa, setting the stage for the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23. The new UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, Mary Robinson sees a lot of momentum to be carried to the Climate Summit and the big Climate Conference in Paris next year.

SOUNDBITE, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
"This is about people, it’s about survival. It’s hitting the small island states now. It’s hitting vulnerable countries. But it’s hitting everybody. And more and more, it will affect people. It will displace people. It will affect their livelihoods. It will affect their very lives. And we have to see transformative change. Hopefully, really beginning with the climate summit."
SOUNDBITE, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa
"The big problems of our small islands will sooner or later impact any country".

SOUNDBITE, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
"I’ve been listening to the leaders of the SIDS and they are engaged in partnerships here. And they want more support, capacity building, finance. But they really want a climate agreement. They’ve emphasized this to me. It’s vital to them that we get a good climate agreement in Paris."
Samoa has been affected in the past by a devastating tsunami in 2009 and its worst tropical cyclone in December 2012.

SOUNDBITE, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
"I’ve been very struck, as somebody who came to climate from a human rights perspective, at just how much it is about people and about development. And I want us to think about the injustice of how climate is affecting those who are least responsible. And affecting them severely, reversing some of their development. And therefore we need to make a special effort to focus more on adaptation but also on the future we want. Which is a future that is renewable energy, zero carbon emissions, and better health, better light, better energy, better job prospects for everybody. And especially those who don’t have clean energy. So the sustainable energy for all must be for all, and is very linked to a good climate agreement."
Mary Robinson visited in Samoa the village of the Prime Minister, Siupapa, which was relocated to higher ground, after the 2009 tsunami destroyed many houses and killed 50 people.

SOUNDBITE, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change
"When we went to the village of the prime minister with the secretary-general and saw people who were recovering from the tsunami, and then on the other side of the island, the cyclone had hit. I think it really makes the whole urgency of getting a climate agreement much more tangible. And then we saw this wonderful performance of young people with their sense of rhythm and vitality and discipline. And I thought to myself, it’s their future that we have to care about. What will they think if we don’t make the right decisions now and next year."
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