United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Solomon Islands

STATEMENT BY
HONOURABLE MILNER TOZAKA, MP
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
& EXTERNAL TRADE
BEFORE THE
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE 4
“PROTECTING OUR PLANET
AND COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE”
27 SEPTEMBER 2015, NEW YORK
PLEASE CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
SOLOMON ISLANDS
Co- Chairs,
Thank you for giving me the floor. My delegation welcomes this interactive discussion on Protecting our planet
and combating climate change.
As a Small Islands Developing States we cannot talk about sustainable development without talking about climate
change. The frequency and intensity of climate related disasters is now a regular occurrence in Solomon Islands.
Last year flash floods wiped out more than 9% of our GDP. This year alone, two cyclones visited our shores. We are
constantly under stress of responding to disasters.
It is in this connection, Solomon Islands remain a special case for sustainable development given our vulnerability
to climate change and unique characteristics.
Solomon Islands welcome the Post 2030 Agenda. As we have stated in the past, the SDGs is not just about
eradicating poverty, it is also about healing the health of our planet. We view Goal 13 on climate change, as a goal
that keeps all other SDGs honest in terms of reversing unsustainable consumption and production patterns and
cleaning up our planetary system.
Co-Chairs,
The adopted SDGs is about balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development, sustainable economic
growth, social development and environment protection. This is our last chance of getting it right. We have this
opportunity of empowering vulnerable countries like my own to leap frog development to sustainability. There are
sufficient resources and technology to turn things around. All it needs is a new form of cooperation and the
political will to breathe life into the SDGs. We need this to happen, we only have one planet, let us make it happen.
The SDGs is linked to the UNFCCC process. The slow pace of negotiations is worrying. Low ambition reflected in
submitted INDCs especially by those with historical responsibility is already creating an uncertain future for SIDS
and LDCs. We are already on a 3-3.5 degrees Celsius temperature increase pathway. This leaves behind SIDS and
LDCs unless more ambitious targets are put forward in Paris.
Pacific Islands Leaders last month issued the Suva Declaration on Climate Change, calling for global temperature
increase to be well below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Leaders further called for COP 21 in Paris to deliver a robust,
comprehensive and ambitious legally binding climate Agreement. It must also have loss and damage as a separate
chapter distinct from adaptation.
Co Chairs,
Slow onset events such as sea level rise are already having an impact on Solomon Islands population. Nationally we
are reviewing our 20 year old National Development Strategy 2016-2036 to incorporate the SDGs. The task will be
completed by the end of this year. We would like to see partnerships in game changing renewable energy
especially on hydro and geothermal projects out in rural areas where 85% of our populations reside.
In closing SDGs is about securing and guaranteeing a better future for our people. Let us not fail them.
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