During the Sepember 28 meeting of the United Nations General Assembly held at UN headquarters in New York City, the tiny island of Tuvalu made a passionate plea for survival as rising ocean waters threaten to swallow the sea-locked island state.
“The situation due to consequences of climate change and sea level rise in Tuvalu is dire,” Vete Sakaio, Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu, told the 68th General Assembly on Saturday, according to a September 30 report by UNEARTH News.
Sakaio challenged the gathering of world leaders to address climate change head-on, by reducing emissions and moving towards a more sustainable energy future.
“The challenge to this noble house is, what else are we waiting for?” Sakaio said. “What is the relevance of talking about post-MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] and SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], when the world continues to fail in its duty and obligations to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide concrete adaptation?"
During his address, Sakaio pointed out that climate change is not only a problem for Tuvalu but a growing problem for the entire world. "Ensuring the long-term security of Tuvalu is saving the world,” he said.
“Please save Tuvalu against climate change,” he pleaded at the conclusion of his speech. “Save Tuvalu in order to save yourself.”