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Strong Boost to Tuvalu’s Voice on Climate Change

November 13, 2003

Press Release
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.
 



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