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Pacific must lead in defending the UN

Pacific nations are being asked to step up and be vocal and visible in our defence of the United Nations as a way to persuade the international community to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change spokesperson and chair of the Parliamentarians for Global Action group in New Zealand. 

“I was disappointed to learn today that New Zealand, Samoa and Australia were the only countries from the Pacific region that co-sponsored the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the International Criminal Court in an effort to protect its integrity from countries who may want to undermine the Rome Statute and the role of the International Criminal Court in its global fight against impunity and for justice. 

This resolution will be voted on Friday 13 May 2016. 

“If we want the world to come to our aid and defend us against climate change, then we have to accept we have a shared responsibility with the world and to one another to stand in solidarity and show we are equally committed to the pursuit of law and order and the security of our planet. 

”We’ve been vocal about climate change and we’ve got to be just as vocal about defending & supporting the many branches and instruments of the United Nations such as the International Criminal Court. 

“It was also just New Zealand, Samoa and Australia from the Pacific region that were the original signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty when it came into force in 2014 and along with Tuvalu are the only ones to have both signed and ratified it. 

“This was an important step in telling the world that we in the Pacific don’t want to see weapons of war and weapons of mass destruction ending up in the wrong hands and causing death and destruction to people and their homelands. 

“It would be a powerful stance if all 16 members of the Pacific Forum stood together to defend the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court. 

“We are all in this world together and we all have universal responsibility to protect it for our children and our planet,” says Su’a William Sio.