November Newsletter: Message from the Chair of AOSIS

November 10, 2023 H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr Pa’olelei Luteru Download PDF

Topic: Climate


• Message from the Chair of AOSIS H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr Pa’olelei Luteru

Talofa reader, As we near the end of what has been an extraordinary year, we find ourselves on the cusp of another pivotal climate change summit. After agreeing to a seminal new AOSIS Leaders Declaration in September, our representatives of small island developing states are preparing to ensure these agreed positions are upheld and put into practice when we convene at COP28 in Dubai. I know we are all taking stock of what progress has been achieved since Sharm el Sheikh, and what actions must be accelerated in order to ensure the protection and upliftment of our people.

After decades of being relegated to the back burner, climate change demands our urgent attention now. Record-breaking heatwaves have been felt across the world, but for SIDS, this compounds conditions that threaten our very existence. The IPCC, in its AR6 Synthesis Report, noted that above a global temperature rise of 1.5°C, our regions face impacts which may be irreversible. I know that you all feel as I do – we absolutely cannot stand idly by while threats to our food security and water supply increase, and the lands and cultures which are the legacies of our ancestors, our gifts to our grandchildren, slip away. We must – we will – do everything in our power to ensure this does not become a reality.

At COP28, we must go forth with a renewed intensity and urgency to achieve the best possible outcome for our fellow vulnerable islanders on the frontlines of this crisis not of our making. The special circumstances of SIDS must be acknowledged. It is my ardent hope that all countries will live up to their duty and obligation to do right by humanity and curb the worst effects of climate change before it is too late.

It is imperative that we keep 1.5 alive – it is our red line. It is essential that we negotiate the most ambitious outcome possible on adaptation. It is literally a matter of sink or survive, with regard to achieving a robust Global Stocktake outcome. And it is crucial that after these many long decades of AOSIS championing the cause, we accelerate the wheels of motion so the loss and damage fund can finally deliver the finance our vulnerable people need.

Friends, we have been entrusted with an important responsibility to stand staunchly against the tide and protect our homes, and our fellow citizens’ right to thrive. I look forward to your continued invaluable support as we work with all Parties to secure a COP28 outcome worthy of the faith placed in us.

Let us show the world how SIDS lead.

Sub Topic: Adaptation


Meeting: COP27