“At every step of the negotiations, the United Nations has made sure that the concerns and aspirations of the Pacific are reflected”, he said. Ban Ki-moon noted that while the Pacific countries counted the least in world greenhouse gas emissions, they were most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. They agreed it was essential to promote sustainable ocean management and protect the oceans from various threats, and the Secretary-General counted on Pacific countries to support the ongoing initiatives to conserve and sustainably use marine resources, referring to the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 to be held in June 2017, to be co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden. He emphasized the paramount importance of protecting women’s equality and promoting women’s political participation.
The Pacific leaders commended the work of the United Nations on combating climate change. They expressed appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General for his championship of women’s empowerment in the region and his advocacy for the efforts taken in their countries to ensure women’s participation in decision-making processes. The leaders thanked the Secretary-General for being a champion for Small Island Development States, particularly on climate change. They noted that he was the first sitting Secretary-General of the United Nations to visit the Pacific, having traveled to the region twice during his term. They emphasized the importance of a strong partnership between Pacific countries and the United Nations.