Thank you very much.
I am extremely humbled and I am extremely thankful to the United Nations and the Institutions for recognising whatever little bit that we have been able to do in raising awareness on climate change.
For us, the Maldives, climate change is not an issue in the distant future, it is a challenge that we are facing right now. Even as we speak, we have a number of islands that need to be relocated and a variety of issues that we have to face because of climate change. While we accept, while I am so pleased to be here in this beautiful city, I thank the government and the people of Korea for providing with all the niceties and facilities and for keeping us so comfortably in this beautiful city.
I also would like to point out that there has been recently, I understand, a certain amount of pressure built upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to all the expectations for the next summit in Mexico. The expectations raised by the Secretary General of the United Nations are the expectations of the people of the world. They are not the expectations of oil companies, or vested interests.
I call upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to continue with the very good work that the Secretary General has been doing, has done and is doing. Please do not relent on raising the standards of expectations, raising what we may be able to achieve in Mexico. And I believe the Secretary General’s work will go on.
By large, our work in the Maldives, especially my work, is very much connected with what the Secretary General was trying to do last year. We were trying to see how the Maldives maybe able to assist the Secretary General in raising the focus for Copenhagen and I still believe that we should raise the focus for Mexico and we should be trying to come out with a solution or at least whatever we may be able to achieve from Mexico. At the instant when Copenhagen came to a close, we at that instant, at that moment thought what we were able to achieve in Copenhagen was limited. Of course, it did not reach our expectations. But what we are finding now is country after country is actually joining the Accord and therefore it is becoming an instrument through which we may be able to achieve our ambitions.
I hope that the same can happen or at least that more than that can happen in Mexico. Again, I really do hope that the Secretary General will continue his work.
I would also like to point out that since Copenhagen, we have the momentum for an agreement, an understanding, a solution for climate change has in a sense been dwindled a little bit. What we are now seeing is all sorts of stories on the leaked emails and the IPCCC reports. What we are not seeing right now are the factors that may be behind the leaked emails, also the factors that may be behind, as Vice President Al Gore pointed out today, there are 3,000 pages in the IPCCC report and we’re just talking about one little figure in that report and that figure do not make any substantial difference to material facts. So basically, I do hope that the press especially, the press is aware and they do understand that recently international media has focused so much upon just a few single sceptical issues in the whole subject. And I would like to see that justice is done to the actual substance of the argument.
Again, following what President Jagdeo has said with regard to leadership or what leaders are supposed to do, of course we can wait until our parliaments, our churches and our mosques and our institutions and everyone agrees upon everything and come out and say, yes this is what we want to do. But in my mind that is not leadership, that is following the pack and if you want to lead you have to go out to the country and convince your people of what is required and what is necessary. It is no good saying it is the congress and pass over more difficulties to the parliament or to the congress. In my mind, good leadership is when you go out to the country and convince your people of your point of view. If you want to follow the pack, then of course you can wait until everyone agrees and then you can come out and say yes, this is my point.
Again, I thank the UN; I thank the other institutions for arranging the event also for recognising our actions. I hope to have the parliament underwater at some time and hopefully not let them come up. Thank you.