Strong Boost to Tuvalu’s Voice on Climate Change
November 13, 2003
Permanent Mission of Tuvalu to the United Nations
Tuvalu’s voice calling for urgent global actions to combat climate change was
given strong recognition yesterday in New York in a special service to urge the
United Nations to stop global warming, and to express feelings of repentance for
the USA’s failures to address climate change. The event was held to also
coincide with the fifth anniversary of the United States signing the Kyoto
Protocol, which it has yet to ratify.
Organized by the Religious Witness for the Earth, an inter-faith group
comprising all religious denominations in the United States of America, the
special service drew crowds in the hundreds. Community leaders from all over
America sought the forgiveness of the world, particularly those from countries
most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change such as Tuvalu in the
Pacific. The leaders pledged to do whatever possible in their capability to
mobilize support in the USA to join the rest of the world, and stop the
destruction of the environment.
In the words of one leader, “As Americans, we apologize to people in places like
Tuvalu, and as people with faith we ask our political leaders to stop the
despoliation of God’s creation”.
The keynote address was delivered by the Tuvalu Permanent Representative to the
United Nations, HE Mr Enele S Sopoaga, who said: “Just as we had cooperated to
help America defeat the enemy of the free world during the Second World War II,
it is in the same spirit we look forward to you people of America with your
resolve and might to lead the world in combating this global threat, and
ensuring security and survival of Tuvalu.”
In discussions, the group agreed to work together with the Mission of Tuvalu in
promoting better appreciation of the seriousness of global warming to islands
like Tuvalu at all levels including through exchanges of visits to Tuvalu and
the United States of America. On behalf of the Tuvalu people, Ambassador Sopoaga
stated that the offer by the group to help Tuvalu was of the highest value as it
was about saving lives of whole communities. He conveyed deep appreciations to
the group for their moving gesture and solidarity.