Samoa PM calls for more UN partners to endorse Vanuatu initiative


Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has called on support from global partners to the Pacific to support the Forum Leaders endorsement of the Vanuatu initiative seeking an advisory opinion on the rights of present and future generations againt the adverse impact of climate change.

The Vanuatu initiative has been fully endorsed by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS), and was part of the Forum Leaders communique in July 2022.

In the communique, Leaders commended Vanuatu on its initiative on a pathway to secure a request from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify legal consequences of climate change, noting the urgency of the climate change threat and the need for accelerated global climate action and implementation of the Paris Agreement.

They had welcomed progress since the initiative was reported to Forum Leaders at their 50th Meeting in Tuvalu in 2019. The initiative complements regional efforts to safeguard Pacific people against the adverse effects of climate change. An ICJ advisory opinion is non-binding but may change the course of current negotiations and boost commitments.

In their 2022 Forum Communique, Leaders want the UN General Assembly to pass a resolution requesting the International Court of Justice to provide their opinion on the obligations of states under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse impacts of climate change.