Secretary-General’s Remarks During Joint Press Encounter with Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga Funafuti

17 May 2019

I want to express my very deep solidarity and admiration in relation to the people and the government of Tuvalu.

You are on the frontline of the war on climate change because climate change is striking in Tuvalu in a more dramatic way than anywhere else in the world.

I have enormous admiration for how you have decided to resist and you are implementing a programme of adaptation and resilience that is something that the whole world should admire and support. But it’s necessary that governments that are still causing the problems that affect Tuvalu understand that they need to change. They need to change their energy policies, their transportation policies, the way they manage their cities, the way they are using fossil fuels so that the impact of climate change on Tuvalu can be stopped. Climate change cannot be stopped in Tuvalu it has to be stopped in the rest of the world.

We will be fighting during our Summit in New York to make sure that all countries accept the commitment that we need to be globally carbon neutral by 2050 to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees.

At the same time, I want to express my deep solidarity and the total support from the United Nations to the government and to the people of Tuvalu in your determined efforts to preserve your country – physically, culturally, in the economic and social dimensions, as a rich component of the Pacific and the international community.

Thank you.