Parliamentary Secretary concludes visit to United Nations

Media release

22 July 2011

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, has concluded his visit to United Nations, which focused on climate change and its impact on small island states.

During his visit, Mr Marles held talks with Ambassadors from the Pacific and other small island states, as well as meeting UN staff to discuss priorities in the Pacific, and the Pacific Islands Forum.

A highlight of Mr Marles' visit was the delivery of the Australian statement at an "open" debate at the United Nations Security Council on climate change and security.

"I have been struck during my visits throughout the Pacific by the reality of the threats these small island nations face from climate change - this was the main reason I wanted to speak at the Security Council and highlight the region’s concerns over the impact of climate change," Mr Marles said.

The themes discussed during Mr Marles' talks with UN Ambassadors will help shape Australia’s objectives for this year’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

"My visit underlined that the Pacific is a vital part of the United Nations, and the United Nations is important to the Pacific," he said.

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