Ahmed Khaleel from the Maldives Islands speaks at the UN
Climate Change Knows No Borders
This is a photo of Mr Khaleel
from a different speech at the UN later that month.
Ahmed Khaleel, Permanent
Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United
Nations, addresses a United Nations Conference on the World
Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development
on June 26, 2009.
UN Photo/Ryan Brown
It follows the full transcript of
Ahmed Khaleel's Address to the General Assembly
of the United Nations, New York, N.Y. — June 3, 2009.
Go here for more on former
President Mohamed Nasheed.
The fourth assessment
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) clearly warned us of the adverse
consequences of climate change and global
That was two years ago.
today’s statistics are much more serious and
Human-induced climate change is accelerating
faster and far beyond the IPCC’s predictions.
The science is clear. Climate change is real. It
knows no borders and has now become by far the
serious threat facing human security.
there is no
longer a front line in the fight against climate
for those countries like the Maldives and other
island developing States, with an average
one metre above sea level, as well as for
coastal areas across the globe, the situation
much more precarious today than ever before.
time is no longer a luxury that these countries
afford; nor can they afford to pick and choose
and when this important issue should be
Climate change-related conflicts are slowly
beginning to emerge as water and other scarce
are depleted, coastlines begin to recede, storms
floods become more frequent, and droughts are
prolonged. As my delegation stated in the
of this Assembly in September, for the Maldives
change "is not solely a development issue, but
also a moral, ethical, political, legal and
human rights issue, as well as a grave security
issue" (A/63/PV.16, p.
It was against that backdrop that the Maldives
took the initiative in 1987 to raise this issue
It was also the reason why the
participated at a high level in the Security
debate on this issue in 2007.
It was the reason
Maldives decided to raise this issue in the
Rights Council last year, and it was also the
why the Maldives unconditionally joined our
and sisters from the Pacific small island
States (SIDS) in submitting the important
before us today.
Unlike two decades ago when we first raised the
issue of the real threat of some of the
including the Maldives, disappearing from the
the Earth due to global warming and sea-level
climate change is a better understood and
We have certainly taken our
reaching scientific and political consensus on
nature and threat of climate change.
It is true that two decades of global action
not yielded the results that we expected. Yet we
to give up hope. We believe that a true
a common and shared vision of commitment and
multilateral solidarity can still guarantee our
Indeed, we have the means and the resources;
lacking is political will.
been stressing, we will have to seal the deal in
Copenhagen. If we do not, it may be too late for
Before I conclude, let me take this opportunity
express my delegation’s sincere appreciation to
Pacific SIDS for taking this important
commend them for this brave and courageous
undertaking. The consensus adoption of
63/281, sponsored by nearly 90 countries,
importance that the international community
to climate change and its possible security
We are fully convinced that the
will become an important milestone in the annals