United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr. Co-chairs,
Climate change is an alarming reality and it affects us all. There is no time for theoretical debates. Science has spoken and has proved beyond doubt that this is not a myth, but a reality caused by human activity. That is why Paris is of such importance. We cannot afford failure in COP21 because the stakes are too high. In the end, it is our very existence that is threatened with annihilation.
After establishing the agendas of Financing for Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Conference on climate change is a defining step forward. We must secure a meaningful, universal climate change agreement. We must seize the opportunity to build on the positive momentum we have gained from the agreements achieved this year.
Cyprus is a small island in the Mediterranean, a part of the world already experiencing the serious effects of climate change. Climate change is a threat to all but particularly urgent for small islands. It is a threat that, like a virus, expands and damages global development, agriculture, health, and the overall stability that nations require to grow and flourish environmentally, socially, and financially.
The European Union and its Member States have submitted their nationally determined contributions back in March in accordance with the timetable agreed in Warsaw. It is essential that all states meet these obligations and submit without any further delay their national contributions.
Time is of essence! It is crucial to agree on a system to which all nations commit and contribute. Cyprus is determined to contribute to the best of its potential to the adoption of a single, global, legally-binding agreement which will be fair and balanced and applicable to all and one that ensures that global warming stays below 2 °C. The international community needs to support commitment and action and provide solidarity to the vulnerable and most affected by climate change especially our partners, the island states in the Pacific. Now we must rise to the challenge. Together we can build a more prosperous, resilient and sustainable world.