Former President, H. E. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has called upon the leaders of the emitting countries to not stand in the way of small island states in their efforts to lead the world on climate change. He made this appeal on Monday, in his statement at the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The former President is representing the Maldives at the conference as a special envoy of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
Highlighting the unique challenges small states face, such as climate change and environmental protection, President Maumoon said that sustainable and innovative solutions remain unrealized because of the lack of international support. He noted that despite numerous pledges having been made, real progress have not yet been shown. In this regard, President Maumoon underscored that global CO2 emission levels continue unabated, and in turn, our fragile ecosystems face increasing threats.
“It is deeply disappointing to the Maldives, and to the people of all small island developing states to observe the lack of action, particularly by the industrialized economies”, said President Maumoon.
Underlining the unique challenges for development posed by a nation’s small size, he stressed that size alone did not determine a country’s destiny. He said that for sustainable practices to be maintained over time, small states as well as large states, need to reduce their dependency.
“With the right policies and right choices we can become our own masters who will shape our future. To do that we need to establish partnerships; meaningful partnerships and enduring partnerships. Partnerships that are defined not by more aid, but by more opportunities. Opportunities that small states could seize to help themselves and to live their dreams”, said President Maumoon.
The 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is being heled in Apia, Samoa, from 1 to 4 September 2014.