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PRESS STATEMENT April 19, 2001 United Nations, New York

Pacific Island delegations will highlight a range of energy issues at the 9th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which opened this week in New York. This year's theme is Energy and Atmosphere.

The Pacific delegations include the Minister for Works and Energy for Kiribati, Hon. Teaiwa Tenieu, and the Cook Islands Minister of Energy, Hon. Tangata Vavia.

The Ministers and the Pacific permanent missions to the UN will be supported throughout the conference by advisers from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.

Further assistance will come from the other members of a Pacific Energy Working Group drawn from regional organisations (Secretariat of the Pacific Community, University of the South Pacific, South Pacific Regional Environment Program, Pacific Power Association, and UNDP).

The Pacific delegations will promote a regional briefing paper that addresses key issues in the areas of Access to Energy, Rural Energy, Financing the Energy Sector, Energy Efficiency, Advanced Fossil and Nuclear Fuel Technologies, Renewable Energy, Energy-related Issues in Transportation, and International Cooperation.

The paper was developed through a series of regional preparatory meetings held in Tarawa, Bangkok, and Bali in 2000, involving representatives of 22 Pacific island countries and seven regional organisations. The Pacific regional briefing paper has also been adopted in principle by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Pacific representatives will highlight regional priorities for increased efficiency, development of renewable sources, reductions in global emissions, and capacity building. In addition, the link between energy use and environmental vulnerability of small island states will be emphasized.

During the UN conference on sustainable development, the Pacific island countries will host an event titled "Energizing the Pacific: Energy Security and Development in Island Countries." It will focus on the region's challenges and opportunities relating to energy and the environment.

The Forum Secretariat is represented at the conference by Economic Infrastructure Adviser Mr. Robert Guild.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at 

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