Press Releases

    ENV/DEV/803
    29 December 2004

    UN Under-Secretary-General Urges International Community to Support Recovery of Vulnerable Small Island States

    NEW YORK, 27 December (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the United Nations International Meeting on Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, said that he was shocked and saddened to learn of the loss of life and destruction caused by a series of earthquakes and tidal waves in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans today.  He extends his deepest sympathies to the people and governments of the countries affected by the disaster, and especially to the small island developing States.  “Destruction of life and property to the low-lying coastal areas, once again highlights the vulnerability of the small island developing States”, he said.

    “This wave of destruction comes on the heels of a number of recent climatic disasters where the impact of sudden climate change has never before been more evident than the recent devastating widespread hurricanes and tropical storms affecting small island developing States, most vulnerable to global climate change”, he added.

    Referring to the impact of this disaster on small island developing States, Mr. Chowdhury cited the example of the Maldives, which has shown remarkable economic progress in the past, but now faces a serious setback.

    Calling on countries to support the recovery efforts of small island developing states, Mr. Chowdhury said, “The United Nations International Meeting on Small Island Developing States will discuss climate change and sea level rise, among other issues in Mauritius next January, and as Secretary-General of that conference, I would like to draw international attention to the need to join forces to support small island States with their recovery efforts and tangibly assist them in improving their economies, as well as make serious endeavour to address the issue of climate change in a practical way”.

    For further information, please contact:  Nosh Nalavala, Media Officer, United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, tel.: (917) 367-2471, e-mail: nalavala@un.org. Web site: http://www.un.org/ohrlls/.

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