7 Dec 2009

Alliance of Small Island States to strengthen Pacific presence at Copenhagen

5:55 am on 7 December 2009

Palau's representative to the United Nations says Pacific countries will be a significant force in negotiations at the climate change conference which begins in Copenhagen later today.

Stuart Beck says many Pacific leaders will be attending the UN conference, and their presence will be strengthened by their inclusion in the Alliance of Small Island States.

The alliance also includes low-lying coastal states in the Indian Ocean and Carribean.

Stuart Beck says the 47 states have a strong moral argument, which they will bring to the conference in spite of predictions it will not produce a legally binding agreement.

"I don't know how to deal with that except to go there and continue to move forward as best we can. You know you have a choice either you quit or you keep trying so we're weak and we keep trying."

Stuart Beck says small Pacific Island states are still calling for the United Nations Security Council to debate the issue of climate change, and are working with the United States on the move.