Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown will continue to advocate for climate action funding for innovative Pacific-tailored solutions for the Pacific at this week’s 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high-level week held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York from 18 – 22 September.

This 78th session of UNGA marks a crucial milestone in the journey towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the urgent need to put the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track. This year’s annual high-level general debate is under the theme “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”. Prime Minister Brown joins Heads of State, Government, and Ministers to explore solutions to the intertwined global challenges to advance peace, security, and sustainable development.

“It’s a long way to travel to New York, costs are not insignificant, but it is imperative we are here to ensure our Cook Islands voice continues to project in concert with all our Pacific Islands Forum voices so we continue to press on those most responsible for climate change to deliver the necessary quantum and ease of access to climate finance that we in the Pacific have advocated for over a decade,” said Prime Minster Brown.

“Off the back of decisions taken during our annual meetings of the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting last month, and our Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting last week, our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and Implementation Plan, and our Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity (PPfP) – our Pacific is well placed to offer innovative, tailored solutions for the intertwined climate and development challenges we’re confronted with in the Pacific, and attract partnerships and investment by UNGA members beyond the Pacific and multilateral development entities attending this week’s high-level meetings.”

Amongst a full schedule of engagements this week, Prime Minister Brown will deliver remarks during three of the five key Leaders’ Summit during this high-level week.

The first, the SDG Summit that will provide high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated climate actions and will deliver a negotiated political declaration. The second, the Climate Ambition Summit that is intended to secure elevated levels of credible, serious, and new climate action by governments, businesses, civil society, financial institutions, and organisations that will respond to the urgency of the climate crisis. The third is the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting for the Summit of the Future, with the Summit to take place in September 2024 and intended to enhance global cooperation to address global governance, reaffirm existing commitments, and make the multilateral system better positioned to positively impact people’s lives.

In addition to advocacy for Cook Islands priorities, Prime Minister Brown is also advocating in his role as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with all Forum Leaders and their delegations throughout this week to jointly advocate for our key priorities, as articulated in our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent,” said Prime Minister Brown.

“Related to climate action, we will be advocating for specific Pacific regional initiatives within our PPfP’s including capitalising our Pacific Resilience Facility, mobilising climate finance towards the Weather-Ready Pacific Decadal Programme of Investment, the Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility and the ground-breaking and innovative Declaration on the Continuity of Statehood and the Protection of Persons in the Face of Climate-Change Related Sea-Level Rise.

“These are regional initiatives developed by the Pacific for the Pacific, some existing, some new, that have transformative potential that will benefit our Pacific communities. The success of these regional collective actions, and our success, critically hinges on securing essential political and financial commitment from international partners participating in UNGA and at the next UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, COP28, to convene in Dubai in November”.

Beyond the three Summits taking place in New York this week, Prime Minister Brown is also speaking at other Summits and side events including relating to Climate Mobility, Addressing the Existential Threat Posed by Sea-Level Rise and the Global Call to Action for Accelerated Sustainable Development through Deep Sea Research, Technology, and Innovations.

The Prime Minister has several bilateral meetings with other UNGA member states and Heads of various UN organisations and is supported in his engagements by Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) Secretary, and Special Envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum, Tepaeru Herrmann, MFAI Director of the Treaties Multilaterals and Oceans Division, Sandrina Thondoo, and Office of the Prime Minister Climate Change Adviser, Isaac Glassie.