Prime Minister Harris Addresses UN Assembly, Calls for Action on Climate Change

(ZIZ News) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris is calling for a universal approach to the global issue of climate change.

The Prime Minister made that call on Saturday during his address at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.

In his address, his first at the United Nations since being elected Prime Minister, Dr. Harris said St. Kitts and Nevis and other Small Island Developing States continue to feel the impact of climate change.

“This year, for example, we in St. Kitts and Nevis suffered one of the most prolonged and severe drought spells. The consequence has been water rationing for the consuming public. We are witnessing the destruction to our livelihoods by natural disasters and sea level rise. We do not know, from one year to the next, which island will be devastated or be set back for decades in development,” Dr. Harris explained.

He said as a nation that relies heavily on the ocean, more emphasis must be placed on the protection of marine life.

“Our oceans and seas have been neglected and as a result are suffering from increasing incidents of pollution, coral degradation and over exploitation. It is important to note that St. Kitts and Nevis, a small island state with landmass of roughly 105 square miles, has a territorial maritime space in excess of 12,427 square miles therefore, our future lies not only on land but most importantly in the sea. We will move to delineate our boundaries with our neighbours so that we may better utilise this unexploited frontier in our efforts to enhance our development,” he said.

Prime Minister Harris also updated the United Nations on the work his government is undertaking to minimise the impact of and build resilience to the effects of climate change.

“As a small island developing country, we understand the relationship between renewable energy, food security and sustainable development. Hence, we are making investments in renewables including Geothermal, wind and solar energy. We are also creating programmes to optimise the synergies. We want our people to succeed and prosper and we promise our people a fair share for all. Therefore, our government will continue to embed legislative frameworks that cement our democracy and institutions,” Dr. Harris said.

At the Summit, countries will adopt a new sustainable development agenda and a new global agreement on climate change.

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