The Pacific Islands Development Forum congratulates all the 60 countries that have thus far ratified the Paris agreement, overcoming the threshold of 55 states needed for the agreement to come into force. With these countries accounting for 47.76% of global emissions, the world is just 7.24% away from satisfying the other condition of the Paris Agreement to come into force that requires that countries accounting for 55% of global emissions need to ratify.

An  official  communiqué  sent  by  the  Pacific Islands Development Forum  Secretary  General  to  countries  earlier  last  week reiterated the call for Pacific Island countries to remain united urging them to ratify the Paris agreement at the earliest. PIDF has also written to the European Union and those countries with the highest emissions who have not yet ratified to do so in haste and to lead by example.

“The ratification yesterday by our member countries Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Vanuatu and Kiribati, and that of Federated States of Micronesia last week, is most welcome as it reaffirms the voice of Pacific Islands on the urgency of action on climate change,” said PIDF Secretary General François Martel who is currently attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He also congratulated the ratification by Papua New Guinea yesterday and Cook Islands earlier this month. These ratifications join those of Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau and Samoa that joined the agreement on the very first day that it opened for signature on 22nd April. With PIDF’s newest member, Timor-Leste still to ratify, Mr Martel said PIDF will continue supporting Timor-Leste for it to be able to be in a position to ratify as soon as possible.

“The devastating impacts of climate change are already a reality for all Pacific Islands. Being at the frontline means, we need to remind the world nations of their  collective  responsibilities  and  urge  all  Parties  to  do  their  part  and  fully  implement  the  Paris Agreement,” he further added.

PIDF  has  for  the  last  few  years  supported  its  members  with  their  strong  stand  in  global  climate  change negotiations particularly with the development of the Suva Declaration on Climate Change last year.

“The  Leaders’  Summit held  in  Honiara  on  the 13th  of  July,  gave  us a  clear  mandate to  keep  pursuing this mission  set  by  the  Suva  Declaration  of  all  Pacific  people  and  to  ´advocate  early  ratification  of  the  Paris Agreement by member governments and the global community”, as outlined in PIDF’s work  plan approved at the Summit, ”said the Secretary General.

“This is a pivotal moment for the world to do the right thing that could mean the survival of low lying nations in the Pacific and we believe it would benefit the world and certainly the Pacific island countries if all countries ratify the Paris Agreement with haste”, said Secretary General Martel.

Both the US Secretary of State, HE John Kerry, and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama the first country having ratified the Paris Agreement congratulated the countries that presented their instruments on the day, with a special mention on the vulnerability of Pacific Islands and the importance to maintain the commitment to a target of a maximum 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

In light of this PIDF will continue working for countries to commit to even more ambitious targets in line with the Pacific’s need to limit temperature rise to not more than 1.5 degree Celsius