PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called on the World Bank to redefine its definition vulnerable Pacific Islands for nations threatened by climate change.
Speaking during the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting the PM asked the World Bank to redefine the term fragile states.
While thanking the World Bank for its continued support in the Pacific Region he pointed out that definitions are important in global governance.
“The threat posed by climate change is as serious as the threat of any war the global community faces right now and we need to recognise this risk,” Prime Minister O’Neil said.
“The World Bank has worked hard to deal with poverty and enhance prosperity in our region, and we seek the support of the Bank to extend the definition of the term Fragile States.
“Broadening the term of fragile state will enable our countries that are threatened by climate change to access more effective global resources and support.
“The current definition of Fragile States only includes conflict-affected countries such as Afghanistan, but does not include climate change induced vulnerable states.”
“Recent events in the Pacific have again revealed the destructive nature of extreme weather events that are driven by climate change.
“We have seen a single event such as a cyclone wipe out years of development and greatly affect and impact the lives of the people in the Pacific.
“War in conflict zones is tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in these wars.
“At the same time we have to recognise the pending global disaster through climate change that will bring about the destruction of fragile communities right around the world.
“Our simple request is that we redefine the term fragile states so that our nations can continue to have access to some of the funding arrangements that is available through the World Bank Group.”
As Forum Chair, Prime Minister O’Neill has written to President Jing Yong Kim, of the World Bank Group to ask the United Nations, in the coming October meeting sessions to relook at the definition.