Thursday, 26 November 2020

UN in your language

We’re all on the same island


UN PhotoEvan Schneider

6 - 7 September 2014 – In preparation for the Third International Conference on Small Island and Developing States, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, sailed with a Polynesian voyaging canoe crew aboard the Hōkūle’a.

“People often say we are in the same boat,” Mr. Ban told the ship's crew on Monday. “I would say we are all on the same small island on the same small planet Earth; this is like a small boat in the universe.” The canoe’s journey, which started in Hawaii this May, is known as Malama Honua, meaning, “to care for our island earth.”

In total, the voyage plans to cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports and 26 countries, by the time it docks in June 2017. It’s stop in the Samoan capital, Apia, coincides with Third Small Island Developing State Conference, as well as the celebration of the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

UNEPThe end of the conference on 4 September began the countdown to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit on 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York. "Climate change is an anchoring issue at the conference in Samoa," stated Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres.

With $1.9 billion pledged in sustainable development partnerships, the United Nations on Thursday wrapped up its small island developing States conference. The Secretary-General of the Third International Conference on Small Island and Developing States, Wu Hongbo, characterized the summit, the largest of its kind in the Pacific, as “extraordinary.”

In total 297 partnerships between governments, businesses, civil society and UN entities had been announced during the four days. “Without a doubt, these partnerships leave a legacy with impact,” Mr. Wu said.

As the conference wrapped up, the drumroll to the Climate Summit began in earnst. The conference established momentum with agreements in the areas of sustainable economic development, climate change and disaster risk management, social development, sustainable energy, ocean health, and water and sanitation, food security and waste management.

As he parted ways with the Hōkūle'a’s crew, Mr. Ban left them with a message and a promise: “I am inspired by its global mission. As you tour the globe, I will work and rally more leaders to our common cause of ushering in a more sustainable future and a life of dignity for all.”

UNRIC's related links:

UNRIC's article on island culture
UNRIC's article on rising sea levels and global dangers for small islands

UNRIC's backgrounder on climate change
UNRIC's backgrounder on sustainable development


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