“Islands are more vulnerable and more threatened today than they have ever been in their history. We all know that for islands, the spectre of climate change is existential. Even those that will not be completely engulfed by sea level-rise will see their productive capacity which relies on tourism and fisheries, seriously compromised. And if the human race allows even one of our islands to be engulfed by the sea, we will have to say that ‘sustainable development’ is just a myth. Let us make no mistake, unfortunately the world is already on that path. As islands, we must use Rio+20 to claim back the concept of sustainable development,” said President Michel.
President James Michel was speaking at the opening of the second SIDS sub-regional preparatory meeting for countries in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Seas (AIMS) for next year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The opening was attended by the Maldivian Foreign Affairs Minister Aslam Mohamed Shakir, and the Chief of Small Island Developing States Unit of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Ms. Hiroko Morita-Lou.
President Michel spoke of the way that SIDS are marginalised within global data collection, funding mechanisms, climate change adaptation funds, infrastructure development, as well as the vulnerability experienced by SIDS to fluctuations in commodity prices and environmental disasters.
The President stated that he refuses to let the development of the Seychellois people to be marginalised and that “to marginalise us, is to marginalise the very concept of sustainability itself,” adding that he would never give up in the fight for island states to be recognised as unique cases for sustainable development. More >>>
Location: Cayman Islands