Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting urges international community to address climate change


The Commonwealth and Developing Small States Meeting, convened by the Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), has called for the international community to urgently address the issue of climate change funding in order to deal with the effects of climate change on their communities.

The emerging messages from the foreign ministers in attendance, fall broadly into two main categories – the first highlighting the need for the emergence of a balanced framework with concrete actions by both developed and developing countries, and the second calling for developed countries to be more transparent in honoring pledges and projects targeted at least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing countries (SIDS).

During the session, which was held on Tuesday, October 25, the Australian Foreign Minister made specific reference to the Blue Economy, stressing its vital role toward food security in the South Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean regions.

In his intervention, Mr. Patrick Pillay, High Commissioner for Seychelles in London, noted Seychelles’ appreciation for the support and contribution of the Australian government to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). His intervention also focussed on the need for LDCs and SIDS to build up their resilience and take measures to achieve sustainability and noted the need for technical assistance in helping countries to better understand the impact of climate change.

“As SIDS, we need to work at our own resilience and sustainability, and take on board good practices of adaptation,” said the High Commissioner.

High Commissioner Pillay also went on to outline some of the green projects currently being undertaken by Seychelles, such as rain-water harvesting, the construction of sea walls, and the planting of coastal vegetation.

The views discussed in this meeting is expected to be taken forward in relevant international fora, which will take place in the near future, notably the Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Durban in December, the G20 meeting to be held very soon in France, and the Rio+20 meeting to be held in the middle of next year.