DAVID KABUA, President of the Marshall Islands, reiterated his call for the world to declare war on climate change, stressing that “our very existence as a people and nation is threatened.” Warning that “the world’s equilibrium has been upset by humanity’s insatiable greed for the accumulation of materialistic wealth and possessions,” he stated that the Pacific small island developing States are “large ocean nations” first. While the oceans are their lifeblood, economic future, and food security, much of the world has used oceans as dumping grounds or resource baskets from which to take at will and without consequence. He called for the establishment of an international financing facility to support small island developing States and low-lying atoll nations during and after natural disasters, as well as for insulation from external shocks — from energy and supply chain disruptions to hyperinflation and pandemics. He urged donors to deliver on existing commitments and an ambitious roadmap that phases out fossil fuels.
Moreover, he stated that the United States has not fulfilled its obligations to the Marshall Islands after nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s. Although United States President Harry Truman stated that people removed and relocated for nuclear testing “will be accorded all rights” that are normal constitutional rights of citizens, these obligations “remained unfulfilled.” The Marshall Islands has continued negotiations with the United States to extend its relationship of free association, but “difficult issues” remain and need to be resolved. He expressed cautious optimism that agreements will be finalized soon, but stressed that the Marshallese people require that nuclear issues be addressed. He also affirmed the recent statement by Pacific Islands Forum foreign ministers regarding the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, expressing continued vigilance and concern.
Regarding Taiwan, he underscored that the United Nations “will never be whole and complete without the meaningful participation of the 23 million people of Taiwan” in the UN system’s specialized agencies. “For too long,” he continued, “the UN bureaucracy has stuck to a wrongful misinterpretation of Resolution 2758 and has used politically influenced conclusions to exclude any clear engagement” with Taiwanese people and their vibrant democracy. “We must have the courage” to recognize the present reality and “relegate this outdated dogma to the vaults of history.” Additionally, recognizing the intense rise of global tension and threat of wider conflict, he maintained that “politics must never blind the need for accountability, not only in Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine, but everywhere, without exception.”
Highlighting the Marshall Islands’ candidacy for the Human Rights Council from 2025 to 2027, he expressed firm commitment to strong and credible action to advance human rights. He called on every nation in the room, including the Marshall Islands, to do more to deliver. “Every nation gathered in this hall bears a vital responsibility to protect — not overstep — the voices of the most vulnerable.” In addition to climate change and “global boiling,” he encouraged the United Nations to declare war on racism, injustices, the unequal distribution of wealth, and poverty.
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