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At UN, Climate Change Debated Behind Closed Doors As Islands Disappear

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 15 – With climate change the topic of a meeting at the UN on Friday morning, many Ambassadors were not even sure where the meeting was being held. There was no sign on the door; it was not in the UN Journal.

   Inner City Press, which wrote about the so-called “Arria formula” meeting on February 11, set up in the hall of the UN's North Lawn building. The Permanent Representative of a small island state came over and complained he was not even allowed to speak in the meeting. “They are trying to minimize it as much as possible.”

   After the meeting, Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access asked Tony deBrum, Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, about the meeting being closed, and about Palau's bid to get an advisory opinion on the issue from the International Court of Justice.

   Tony deBrum said the ICJ case was interesting but not going anywhere fast. He said he'd asked without success to get the press into the meeting, Pakistan and Permanent Member the UK.

   Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant about that, and about the meeting. He said it was a “good engagement by PRs,” thought some “emphasized their view that the Security Council is not the right venue for dealing with climate change.”

   Tony deBrum named Guatemala as among these. He said that the Marshall Islands had to go through the Security Council to become a state - but now that it is threatened, some say the Security Council should not be involved.

  He described islands and causeways disappearing under water, and ordnance from World War II becoming uncovered. Security indeed. Watch this site.

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