SAMOA: On eve of major conference, UN chief spurs green investment in small islands

31 August 2014 – Encouraging partnerships between the private sector and small developing island nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday urged corporate leaders to invest in renewable energy and make historic strides in sustainability.

“Oceans isolate small islands – but when they are managed well they become a constant source of wealth,” Mr. Ban told the high-level dialogue of the private sector forum. The event was organized jointly by the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), the Samoan Government and the Samoa Chamber of Commerce.

The challenges facing small island developing States, such as scarce resources, population pressures and climate change, also affect businesses, he said, and corporate leaders have an interest in rising to these challenges.

Praising the “extraordinary partnership and commitment” being made during the two-day private sector forum, Mr. Ban told representatives of business and industry that they have a collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable.

“People often say we are in the same boat,” he said. “I would say we are all on the same small island on the same small planet Earth; this is like a small boat in the universe.”

In particular, Mr. Ban noted the critical role of renewable energy to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, while also making countries less dependent on expensive imported fuel.

“You are part of this exciting chance to address risks, seize opportunities, and make history by moving our planet to sustainability,” he urged.

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