The following statement by Belize was delivered at a Ministerial Meeting of AOSIS during a short ceremony on the occasion of the 24th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to mark Belize’s acceptance of the chairmanship of AOSIS from the Maldives in January 2019. Belize will hold the chairmanship for two years to be followed by Antigua and Barbuda in 2021.
“Good evening distinguishing delegates, colleagues. I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Vice Minister of Belize who had to leave early because of another pressing engagement.
On this occasion I wish to extend sincere thanks to the Maldives for steering our group over the course of their Chairmanship, for their leadership and support. I extend congratulations from my Ministry and from the Government of Belize.
Colleagues of AOSIS, Belize accepts the first half of the incoming Chairmanship of AOSIS with a profound recognition of the challenges ahead. Acknowledging and building on the work put in by the Maldives over the past four years and that of the Republic of Nauru before that, and supported by all member nations, and relying on the sound expertise and innovative ideas of our collective body of experts. Belize intends to advance the work of AOSIS over the next two years, with a renewed focus on structure and support for member parties. Advancing the work to achieve the sustainable development goals will be a major focus over the next two years. Also of paramount importance is the unity of AOSIS which must be preserved.
Ahead of us lies a great challenge, predicated by the distraction of parties backing out of the Paris Agreement and others unwilling to accept the latest science of a world at 1.5 degrees. The best science of the latest IPCC report is sound and yes it is alarming, but all parties must respect and accept it, and seek common ground to come to terms with the implications of it.
As those among the most vulnerable and those already suffering the impacts, Belize and the Caribbean region stands ready to push ahead the work of AOSIS. We look forward to your continued support.