Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called for global solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 and climate change.

In his address to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Prime Minister Sogavare says that the time for action is now.

“As we continue to confront the problems and challenges that our world faces, ranging from climate change to the deteriorating health of our planet and the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remember there is more that binds us together as a human race than divides us.

“We must dig deep and reach out to each other with hands of friendship, and we must embrace multilateralism as an important tool to confront global challenges,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

Prime Minister Sogavare says that it is of concern that the world is falling behind in its commitments to the Paris Agreement, and calls on all major greenhouse emitting countries to take more ambitious action to place the world on a below 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway.

“Sadly, the latest trend is driving humanity towards a ‘3 degrees Celsius world’ which we can all agree is not the world we wish to bequeath to our future generations,” he stated.

“As such, COP26 presents an opportunity to operationalize the Paris accord and continue negotiations on the Paris ‘rule book,’ as the detailed rules and procedures for implementing the Agreement are informally known. They were adopted in 2018 at COP24 held in Katowice, Poland.”

He went on to call for the establishment of a common time frame for nationally determined contribution, or ‘NDCs’ which embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, as well as for market and non-market negotiations to be concluded. “The time for action is now.”

While thanking donor partners for their assistance in fighting COVID-19, he says that “our collective response to the pandemic will be our legacy as world leaders.”

“It will be remembered for ever by those who had lost loved ones, by those that believed we could have done more but didn’t, by those that felt betrayed by their leaders, and by those that were appreciative of the collective efforts all countries of this world had undertaken to fight an invisible enemy that is only visible in the suffering and agony of those affected and those left behind.”