Pleased to support ICJ advisory: New Zealand

New Zealand supports the assertion made by the esteemed Tonga ambassador on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum countries that are present at the UN and the Cook Islands, which are the Pacific Islands Forum’s chair.

Mr President, Aotearoa New Zealand is proud to endorse the ICJ advisory opinion as a member of the Core Group. He applauds Vanuatu for taking the lead on this crucial project.

The sheer number of co-sponsors reflects a rising international understanding that we must create global solutions to combat climate change.

The best science currently available is clear-cut. The atmosphere, ocean, and land are all warming due to human activity. Wide-ranging adverse effects are being produced by this, including the rise in sea level and the frequency and severity of extreme weather occurrences.

The disastrous effects that such disasters can have are something New Zealanders are all too aware of. Just a few weeks ago, Cyclone Gabrielle devastated and uprooted large portions of our nation, prompting New Zealand to declare a national state of emergency for third time in the history.

Climate change continues to pose the most significant danger to lives, security, and well-being in our more extensive region, the Blue Pacific. Yet more than three billion people live in areas susceptible to climate change on a global scale.

All nations must act with a common resolve to address these urgent issues. The international community must use all of the resources at our disposal.

One such method is to use the International Court of Justice’s advisory jurisdiction. According to New Zealand, an advisory opinion can help bring coherence and clarity to international climate law. This can raise ambition and motivate action while ensuring continued adherence to international obligations.

The need for an advisory opinion has nothing to do with the accuracy of the research around climate change; it is conclusive. Instead, it concerns the obligations of States under international law.

The Core Group members carefully considered the topic before you for several months while consulting with a broad spectrum of other UN member nations. This group has a wide range of interests and viewpoints, but they all aim to find comprehensive answers to the climate change problem.

The question’s scope intends to enable the Court, by its mandate, to consider the entire body of pertinent international law.

The issue is broad, but so is climate change. Every part of the world in which we live is affected.

Aotearoa New Zealand is glad that a unanimous vote approved the resolution. By coming together today, we have significantly advanced toward a safer, more wealthy, and more sustainable future.

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