KENEKO ISLAND, Marshall Islands, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting ended here Thursday by adopting the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership.
The move marked a critical step in the region's efforts to accelerate the global response to the climate change that is the greatest threat to the security, livelihood and well-being of the people of the Pacific, and other vulnerable countries worldwide.
The declaration is intended to highlight the leaders' strong political commitment to be the region of Climate Leaders, and is an effort to spark a new wave of climate leadership that accelerates the reduction and phasing down of greenhouse gas emission worldwide.
The Pacific leaders recognized the need for strengthened national systems to plan for, access, deliver, absorb and monitor climate change financing.
The Pacific leaders called on donors and development partners to report on their climate change financing and how they differentiate or integrate such financing with their Official Development Aid allocations, noting New Zealand and Austria's existing efforts in this regard.
The Pacific leaders also urged donors to continue to simply and harmonize their assessment, implementation and reporting process for funding and assistance to reduce the complexity of current arrangements.
They also reiterated member countries' preference for using national systems and modalities for channelling climate change finance guided by relevant country owned policies and plans for adaption, mitigation and risk reduction, said the declaration.
"We want our Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership to be a game changer in the global fight against climate change. Forged on the frontlines of climate change's devastating impacts, we hope it gives new impetus and accelerates the transtition to the low- carbon economy," said new Forum chair, Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak, after adopting the declaration.
Loeak will travel to New York in late September to present the Majuro Declaration to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the General Assembly Leaders' Week.
Loeak will offer the declaration as a "Pacific gift" to the UN Secretary-General's strong efforts to catalyze more ambitious climate action by calling together world leaders in September 2014, and to mobilize political will for a universal, ambitious and legally binding climate change agreement by 2015.
Marshall Islands, the host nation, set the theme of this year's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting as "Marshalling the Pacific Response to Climate Challenge."
The leaders also reviewed the Pacific Plan, regional infrastructure, fisheries, trade, education, health initiatives, transnational and broader security issues.
The Pacific leaders also agreed to admit Cuba as the 15th Post- Forum Dialogue Partner and Palau will host the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum.
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization which aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean and represent their interests. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum and became the Pacific Islands Forum in 2000.
The Forum's member states are Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Fiji was suspended from the Forum in May 2009 after it failed to meet a deadline to announce a general election date.