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Mr President Executive Secretary Distinguished Heads of Government Members of Country Delegations, NGOs, and the Press Ldies and Gentlemen

Mr President,

Let me begin by adding my sincere thanks to the Government of Japan and the city of Kyoto for hosting this third conference of the parties. In congratulating your Government, I wish to put on record that the People and the Government of Niue are very proud to take part in this historical gathering as a major cornerstone towards decisively determining the international community response to the global threat of climate change.

Mr President,

Many of us here today have attended a series of consultations and international meetings on climate change. While it is appropriate amongst friends to congratulate ourselves for the achievements to date, it is timely to positively consider ways of making this special bond more effective, meaningful, genuine and responsive to the real problem and future challenges. I should therefore look forward to the international community to put aside its differences and focus on a very positive and constructive path over the next two days.

Mr President,

I support the concerns raised by previous Speakers in relation to the position of Small Island States from the Pacific, Carribbean, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and would like to again echo those concerns.

There is no doubt in everyone’s mine and especially in reports of the IPCC that over recent years, there has bee an unusual weather phenomenon experienced worldwide. Substantive scientific analysis suggests that low lying Small Island States face the most vulnerability. We hold real fears of rising sea temperature and sea levels, loss of sea food sources, destruction of low lying crop growing areas and salt water intrusion into our fresh water lenses to name a few.

We have recognised that the threat of climate change and environment degradation constitutes real challenges to developing nations and, in particular Small Island States. Many of us have taken serious initiatives to assist in reducing these new challenges but it will require a comprehensive engagement and commitment from industrialised nations.

Mr President,

The Government of Niue fully supported AOSIS countries position statements delivered by His Excellency the President of Nauru, His Excellency from Tuvalu, and the Honourable Minister from Samoa. I believe if we are really serious about moving the negotiations forward, we urge all Annex I Countries to adopt a protocol which contains concrete and legally binding reduction targets of the six greenhouse gases before the conclusion of this Conference.

Niue is one of many developing Countries who are preparing its Initial National Communications and within these preparations we have already identified areas for voluntary reductions of the greenhouse gases emissions. Although these reductions maybe considered small in relation to the world’s total emissions, it nevertheless shows that we are active partners to the Convention on Climate Change.

Mr President,

Unless obtaining firm QLEROs commitments by Annex I countries. This Third Conference of the Parties should ignore all new commitments, until next year. The issue of sinks, should be referred back to the IPCC for further analysis regarding uncertaincies. Other issues such as emission trading, budget period, banking, and joint implementation, should be referred back for consideration at a later Conference of the Parties.

Mr President,

As we prepare to meet the dawn of the next millennium, let us work together and commit ourselves to building a credible commitment that would ensure a secure global environment for our present and future generations. I also wish to thank the Group of 77 and China; and seek their continuous support for the 35 member countries of AOSIS in achieving a satisfactory outcome to this meeting.

Thank you Mr President.

December 8, 1997

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