AOSIS takes stock of progress at COP122006-11-15 H.E. Tavau Teii
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Members States of the Alliance of Small Island States, all of whom are Parties to this Convention. We are most gratified by the warm welcome extended to our delegations. Mr. President, at this session, AOSIS has sought progress on a number of key issues, chief amongst them adaptation, capacity building, financing and in general, the effectiveness of the operations of this Convention and the Protocol. Enhanced representation would enable us to better participate in these important discussions, so as to address these priority issues at future meetings, including the upcoming session in Bonn next year. We call on those in a position to do so, to provide the necessary support to ensure that AOSIS Member States are adequately represented. That being said, we are grateful for the support that we have received, for example the generous support offered to our SIDS Article 6 Workshop on education, training and public awareness by New Zealand and Norway. Mr. President, AOSIS welcomed your opening statement and the emphasis you placed on adaptation. This resonates very well with our own views that we are now at a crucial stage for furthering the adaptation work. The 5-year work program on adaptation being considered at this session could be an important contribution. However, we do note that the program is, strictly speaking, addressing activities that would support adaptation or would lay the groundwork for adaptation. It is of concern to us that we will not yet be looking at concrete adaptation activities. While we appreciate the need for all vulnerable countries to be enabled to assess their adaptation needs, we must also allow for consideration of stage 3 adaptation activities. The linkages therefore to the Adaptation Fund must be considered at a future session. I should also stress the urgency of implementing concrete adaptation projects at the country level through some sort of prompt start mechanism. Mr. President, as SIDS we have capacity building needs that are extremely serious. While some progress has been made in training our national climate change teams, we also have problems with retaining expertise. Of course, all countries face this challenge of the brain drain, but for SIDS, where we have small administrations to begin with and where the climate change impacts will be most severe, we have to have sufficient capacity to build our resilience. We need capacity to do research and observation, coastal zone dynamics, agriculture and food security research, water resources management and a whole range of other activities that are necessitated by the challenge of climate change. Since our countries have done little to cause climate change, we feel that it is only fair that the developed countries assist us in coping with this challenge in a more timely manner. Mr. President, we were legally required at this conference to review the protocol under article 9. It is our view that we need to have a fairly broad review of all elements of the protocol without undermining its overall architecture. We consider this as a matter of some urgency in light of emerging scientific information. While we recognize the need for common but differential responsibility, we should also be open to a discussion of what we as developing countries can do to contribute to the ultimate goal of the Convention. I would like to note that many SIDS have instituted comprehensive renewable energy policies, and that some SIDS are exploring the use of reducing emissions from deforestation, so that we thereby address mitigation. Some SIDS are also considered models of eco-friendliness. In fact, the Mauritius Strategy suggests that the international community should look to SIDS becoming virtual laboratories for sustainable development. The main obstacle for achieving progress in this regard remains the lack of financing, exacerbated by small size and the consequent difficulty in achieving economies of scale. Mr. President, this conference has seen some major achievements. We consider this conference to be a success since we have taken many important decisions on adaptation work program, national communications guidance, transfer of available technologies, and on furthering work under 1/CP.10. That being said we still have much work to do, such as reaching conclusions under the work on article 3.9, and AOSIS pledges its full support to complete our agenda under your guidance. Finally, we are most appreciative of the conclusion that has been reached on the Mauritius Strategy issue here in Nairobi, and we in our SIDS expert meeting will work hard to provide our views on the issues of priority to SIDS on climate change in conjunction with the ongoing work of the Convention and Protocol. Thank you Mr. President.
Sub Topic: Cross-cutting