Monday, 3 October 2011

Nauru ready to take over AOSIS chair

By Makereta Komai for Climate Pasifika in Panama

Ambassador Marlene Moses

02 October 2011 Panama --- Taking over as lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) on climate change will be a challenge but Nauru’s top diplomat at the United Nations, Ambassador Marlene Moses is ready to rise up to the challenge.

Ambassador Moses takes over the reign from another equally able and strong negotiator, Ambassador Dessima Williams of Grenada, who has served as chair of AOSIS since 2007.

“I will be filling an incredibly big shoe. Grenada has set the bar very high and we can only do our best to match what Grenada has achieved on behalf of 43 countries.

“Ambassador Williams is a wonderful woman. Her dedication, personality and passion have reflected in the work she has done for AOSIS, said Ambassador Moses.

The Nauru diplomat, who has spent six years representing her island nation at the United Nations in New York, said she will continue to draw on the experiences of Grenada in the transitional period.

“I can only build on her legacy. She is a wonderful negotiator. During the transition, we will draw on her wisdom and guidance as we begin to chair AOSIS.

Ambassador Moses will also rely on the support and experiences of her colleagues in New York.

“My colleagues in New York have given me 120 percent of support. Nauru cannot let the Pacific down and we will not let them down, a confident incoming chair of AOSIS told Climate Pasifika in Panama.

On what Nauru’s chairmanship means for the Pacific, Ambassador Moses said, “This will be an opportunity for our region to raise its profile in terms of climate change”

“Nauru has capacity limitations, so we will be looking to our Pacific colleagues to provide us with expertise to chair the 43-memebr group.

“In this regard, Nauru has placed a number of advertisements in key outlets in the Pacific to advertise for a chief negotiator, deputy chief negotiator, science advisor and economic climate adviser.

“We are hoping that the Pacific will take this opportunity and come forward and support Nauru as AOSIS chair.

“Climate change is critical to the survival of Pacific Island Countries and we hope that Pacific Islanders will apply for these positions to be based in New York for the duration of Nauru’s term as chair, said Ambassador Moses.

On the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the incoming AOSIS chair said there won’t be major changes to the current AOSIS negotiating positions.

“Nauru’s position and the Pacific position are well embedded in the AOSIS position, in terms of temperature, of the Kyoto Protocol and the ambitious reduction targets.

“We are not making changes to the AOSIS position but building on what Grenada has achieved during its chairmanship. I think having this opportunity for the Pacific to be directly involved will add another level or a different perspective because the Pacific is one of the most vulnerable regions.

“So we bring in that urgency, we bring in that impetus that climate change negotiations cannot fail. “It’s the only legal framework available to us and we need this to continue after 2012. If I can use a quotation from a civil society in South Africa at the talks yesterday, ‘we don’t want the Kyoto Protocol to die in our soil.’ And this is exactly where we are coming from. We don’t want the Protocol to die a premature death, said Ambassador Moses.

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