24 Sep 2014

Marshallese poet moves UN summit

11:04 am on 24 September 2014

World leaders at the United Nations climate change summit in New York have heard how climate change is a challenge that few want to take on.

Marshall Islander Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner was selected from more than 500 candidates to represent the voice of Civil Society.

Mrs Jetnil-Kijiner told delegates that the price of inaction over climate change is to high and that a radical change of course is needed to tackle it.

"The people who support this movement are indigenous mothers like me. Families like mine and millions more, standing up for the changes needed and working to make them happen. I ask World leaders to take us all along on your ride. We won't slow you down, we will help you win the most important race of all, the race to save humanity."

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner then delivered a two-minute poem to her daughter that spoke to the world about her fears of climate change and the need to fight through roadblocks that are preventing action to solve climate problems.

She received a standing ovation at the UN Climate Summit following her poem.

Pacific ocean

Pacific ocean Photo: RNZ