3 Mar 2014

Nauru President encourages worldwide action on rising sea levels

8:22 pm on 3 March 2014

The President of Nauru has welcomed the United Nations' renewed focus on the world's small island states but warned that without urgent international action on climate change, "entire languages, cultures and histories" will be lost.

Baron Waqa says the greatest challenge lies ahead, particularly from rising sea levels.

He spoke in New York at the launch of the UN International Year of Small Island Developing States, and warned that unless action is taken soon, some islands won't make it to the end of the century.

Mr Waqa says solving the problem requires action from the entire international community, and no country or region is immune from its impacts.

He says by protecting the Small Island States, leaders can safeguard the whole world.