Climate change: India seeks UN reforms, fair climate treaty

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 23:26 IST
PM Modi joins hands with heads of governments at the second summit of Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries in Jaipur on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought support of 14 Pacific Island nations for India’s permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) while promising a seat for Pacific region in the expanded UNSC and help for ensuring “balanced” and “fair” climate treaty in Paris this winter.

Speaking at the second India-Pacific Island Cooperation, Modi emphasised on need to reform the UN so that it can keep pace with the “changing world” and sought their support for the text of the President of the General Assembly as a basis for reforming the Security Council.

“Reform in United Nations is in global interest for equitable world. We should ensure conclusion of negotiations on UN reforms at the 17th session of UNGA,” Modi said while concluding the summit.

He said India supported interests of small island nations on capacity building in the outcome document on the post-2015 development agenda called Sustainable Development Goals and a dedicated seat for them in an expanded and reformed United Nations Security Council. “India will support the realisation of your vision of Pacific Regionalism,” he said.

Modi also touched upon the sensitive issue of climate change saying it was an “existential” threat to Pacific Islands and millions of Indians living on its 7,500 km long shoreline, adding they have worked together for a separate goal on climate change in SDGs.

“We both (India and Pacific nation) seek a concrete and effective outcome on climate change at COP 21 in Paris later this year,” Modi said, minutes before leaders from Pacific nations sought India’s help for an equitable agreement in Paris to protect island nations from vanishing.

“Countries have exactly 14 weeks to decide on new climate treaty. I will ask India to stand with the island nations against selfish nations who are not willing to take enough action to protect us from adverse impacts of global warming” Fiji Prime Minister V Bainimarama said.

His views were echoed by other leaders of Pacific nations who wanted that the world should respect their vulnerability to “extreme” weather events.

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