Palau President Whipps asks world leaders to support Pacific maritime boundaries declaration


Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr called on the global community to support the Pacific island leaders’ declaration of setting permanent maritime boundaries even if their shorelines diminish due to sea-level rise.

Whipps in his statement delivered during the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) Leaders’ Summit last week also pointed out the adoption last month of a Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change related Sea-level Rise.

“We are heartened that AOSIS leaders have reflected key elements of that document in this meeting’s Declaration, and we encourage the international community as a whole to support the Declaration as a matter of equity, fairness, and justice as well as a reflection of the legal soundness of the Declaration, in full alignment with the text and purposes of UNCLOS,” Whipps said.

Pacific island countries could lose their territory as sea level rises continue with boundaries still measured from the point of land.

The president also reiterated that for the small island nations in the Pacific, climate change is a top priority and that collective action is needed to address the risks.

He called on world leaders to step up climate action and those big emitters needed to act.

“We have all the evidence we need – let us move with confidence and focus squarely on actions, actions, and more actions. Our survival is dependent on what we achieve on the ground. In the same breath, the big polluters and emitters need to demonstrate true leadership and understanding of the desperate situation faced by SIDS and the global community as reported in the latest IPCC Report,’ he said in his statement.

The president said global action is urgent to combat the climate crisis.

“We as the global family need to come together and succeed in our fight against climate change,” said President Whipps