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Statement by President of Naurus (for Pacific SIDS)

December 8, 2010

There were some strong powerful words that touched my heart… wonder if they’d touched yours too?

20101207 – Nauru statement

Excerpts from the Statement delivered by His Excellency President Marcus Stephen, M.P. on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

The Pacific has a rich cultural and linguistic tradition.  Hundreds of distinct languages are spoken in homes throughout our fourteen countries.  No more than 10,000 people speak my native language of Nauruan, and it, like so many others, may soon disappear.

However, none of our words are quite so exotic as the ones spoken by the climate change negotiator.  The people who inhabit these walls communicate in acronyms:  QELROS, LULUCF, and NAMAs – letter that carry the power to determine which of our nations may thrive and which may vanish beneath the waves.

The gravity of the crisis has escaped us.  It has become lost in a fog of scientific, economic, and technical jargon.  Without bold action, it will be left to our children to come up with the words to convey the tragedy of losing our homelands when it did not have to be this way.

So, instead, I will describe the task before us by evoking a concept that has universal meaning and power:  that of responsibility.

– – –


  • QELROs = Quantified Emissions Limitation and Reduction Objectives
  • LULUCF = Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry
  • NAMAs = Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions
  • UNFCCC =  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • COP = Conference of Parties (of the UNFCCC)
  • REDD = Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
  • GAMA = Globally Appropriate Mitigation Actions

– Live from CANcun…. CAN you, or CAN’T you…?



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