Articles: Marshall Islands: Preparations Enter Final Phase for 44th Pacific Islands Forum
Final preparations are underway for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders’ meeting, to be held in Majuro, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), from September 3 to 6.
As usual, this year’s Forum meeting will bring together the Leaders of the Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand. The PIF members will be joined by delegations from their 13 Post-Forum Dialogue Partners, including the United States, China, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea and India, as well as the EU and Member states France, Italy and the United Kingdom. After its recent “pivot to the Pacific”, it is anticipated that Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the US delegation.
New Website: www.majurodeclaration.org
The Forum meeting follows a recent spate of climate-induced disasters across the Marshall Islands, and news in May that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time, reinforcing fears that the world is on track to runaway global warming of 4°C or more.
Reflecting the urgency of the situation, the RMI Government has chosen the theme “Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge” for this year’s Forum, and proposed the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership as the meeting’s signature outcome. A proposed text was distributed to PIF Leaders late last week, and it will shortly go to the Forum’s Dialogue Partners, which are together responsible for over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The RMI Government today launched a new website (www.majurodeclaration.org), asking visitors to “Stand With Us” in calling for a “new wave of climate leadership.” It is hoped that the website will later register new and more ambitious commitments for climate action.
Speaking ahead of the Forum, incoming PIF Chair and RMI President Christopher Loeak said, “The Majuro Declaration will recognize the responsibility of all of us to act urgently to phase down greenhouse gas pollution in order to avert a climate crisis for present and future generations.”
“We want the Declaration to demonstrate the Pacific’s climate leadership through the region’s accelerating transition to clean and renewable energy, and call on everyone, including the world’s biggest emitters, to do more. We want the Declaration to be a living and dynamic platform for an upward spiral of climate action by countries, cities, companies and others.”
“Waiting for a new global agreement in 2015 will not be enough. Accelerating climate action now, and well before 2020, is critical. With global leaders scheduled to come together on climate change in September 2014, now is the time to build our new wave of climate leadership.”
The RMI Government will also convene an international "Panel of Experts on Climate Leadership" immediately prior to the Forum (details overleaf) to discuss the climate crisis and its impacts in the Pacific. Following the Forum, President Loeak hopes to present the Majuro Declaration and its list of commitments to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in late September as he plans his 2014 Climate Change Summit to boost ambition and mobilize political will for a new climate treaty in 2015.
Schedule of Events:
Pre-Forum events (open to the media)
Regional Media Workshop
Organized by the Pacific Islands News Association
National Telecommunications Authority Training Room, Majuro
Saturday August 31 (8am to 4.30pm) and Sunday 1st September (9am to 4pm)
* Includes addresses by RMI President Christopher Loeak; PIF Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni
Slade; and Director of PNA Secretariat Dr. Transform Aqorau.
Panel of Experts on Climate Leadership
Facilitated by Minister-in-Assistance to the President, Senator Tony de Brum
International Conference Center (ICC), Majuro
Monday September 2 (2pm to 5pm) – Followed by press conference
* Includes opening remarks by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres (video link).
Participants include former Irish President Mary Robinson (video link); EU Commissioner for Climate
Action Connie Hedegaard; Japanese Senior Vice Minister for the Environment Kazunori Tanaka;
Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency Adnan Amin; Director-General of the
Secretariat of the Pacific Community Dr. Jimmie Rodgers; Business for Social Responsibility CEO
Aron Cramer; and Executive Director of the Global Call for Climate Action Kelly Rigg. PIF Secretary
General Neroni Slade will deliver closing remarks.
Forum media registration
Limited places for media registration to cover the 44th Pacific Islands Forum remain available. Full
details are available from this Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat advisory.
Outline of key Forum events
Tuesday, September 3
10am: Smaller Island States Leaders Meeting (official photo), International Conference Centre
3.30pm: Press conference, Media Center
4pm: 44th Pacific Islands Forum Opening Ceremony, Delap Park & Capital Building Courtyard
Wednesday, September 4
10am: 44th Pacific Islands Forum Formal Session (official photo), International Conference Centre
1.30pm: Press conference, Media Center
5pm: Press conference, Media Center
Thursday, September 5
8.45am: 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Retreat (opening shots and official photo), Eneko Island
4.15pm: Press conference, Eneko Island
Friday, September 6
9am: 25th Post-Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting (opening shots), International Conference Centre
1pm: Press conference, Media Center
- RMI Office of the President, Majuro, Marshall Islands