“We cannot and should not, be forced to constantly live under the threat of climate change and climate induced disasters, while those most responsible for global warming continue to drag their feet when it comes to real and effective climate action,” says Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna.

Puna made the statement in his opening remarks at the Pacific High-Level Climate Change Dialogue in Suva.

“We call on our development partners to put aside your self-interest and profit motivations and join us in our fight against climate change.

“We have gone far beyond the threshold of mere tokenistic support now. We need support that forces the change that we need to see.

“Our very survival and that of our future generation, is on the line,” Puna emphasised.

He said Climate change is the single greatest threat to our region, our islands, our oceans and of course our people.

“To say that we need to see change is an understatement. We need to see a strong commitment to elevated, ambitious and urgent climate action, now,” said Puna.

On climate financing, Puna said the Pacific need to expedite and finalise the ongoing discussions on global climate finance by COP 28, including the funding arrangements for Loss and Damage and the New Collective Quantified Goals.

“On ambitious and effective climate action, We have consistently advocated for the need to see ambitious commitments that will keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“How can we ensure stronger accountability through multilateral processes?

“We will depend on the advice of the expertise in this room to guide our political messaging and advocacy.

“Put simply, the work to be done is clear,” said Forum SG Puna.

SG Puna also pay tribute to Pacific Climate change negotiators.

“Our climate negotiators are often our unsung heroes – this morning, I would like to pay tribute especially to each of you and our experts in the room today who continue to provide the very necessary advisory support to our delegations at international negotiating fora.

“That said, I am very aware that each of us in the room today is not new to climate advocacy, climate negotiation and indeed, the perils of climate change that we, as a region, face everyday.

“In this room today, we have the potential and the expertise to develop a roadmap that will support our journey towards a successful COP 28.

“I urge you all to be constructive, robust and thorough in your exchanges over the next two days. Use the time together to reach some strong consensus on how best we can effectively move forward as a region,” said SG Puna.