5 Jul 2019

Pacific wants dedicated UN climate change rep - Baron Waqa

3:02 pm on 5 July 2019

Nauru's President, Baron Waqa, says the Pacific wants a dedicated UN special representative for climate change to be appointed.

Baron Waqa, President of Nauru

Baron Waqa, President of Nauru Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

In an interview published on the website Climate Diplomacy, Mr Waqa says the position would fill a "critical gap" in the UN system.

Baron Waqa said Pacific nations were seeking a more robust response on climate change from the UN.

The special representative on climate and security would update the UN secretary-general's report on the security impacts of climate change.

It would also produce a new report analysing the dangers of climate security and make recommendations for monitoring and response.

Mr Waqa says the role, first proposed in 2011, would provide support to vulnerable countries for making climate security risk assessments.

"This mandate should grow over time to include facilitating regional and cross-border cooperation on issues that might be affected by climate change, engaging in preventive diplomacy, as appropriate, and supporting post-conflict situations when climate change is a risk factor that could undermine stability."

Mr Waqa said a more robust response from the UN on climate change would also help address concerns the securitisation of climate change would lead to military responses.

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