SUVA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recognized on Wednesday the efforts made by the Pacific region to fight against climate change.
"My deep gratitude, my enormous appreciation and my total commitment in solidarity with the people of the Pacific Islands States that are in the front line of the impacts of what humankind is doing to the planet, doing to the oceans and have shown extraordinary courage and extraordinary resilience and deserve a much stronger solidarity from the international community," Guterres said during a traditional welcome by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in the Fijian capital of Suva.
The Pacific region is on the front line of the climate change and that meant they were also important allies in the fight against it, he said, adding that he was here "to see the region's climate pressures firsthand, and to learn about the work being undertaken by communities here in Fiji and elsewhere to bolster resilience."
Noting that the last four years were the hottest on record, the UN chief highlighted recent ice losses in Greenland and Antarctica, saying that "sea levels will rise a full meter by 2100."
Meanwhile, Guterres also attended a high level political dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders, pledging UN's support to the Pacific region's efforts in the fight against climate change.
"The United Nations is strongly committed to supporting your response for climate change and the addressing of negative impacts that they have put your cultures and very existence at risk. Your commitment to adaptation, your needs for adaptation requires so many international support as the climate change is running faster than your efforts," he said.
The UN chief also praised Fiji for what the island nation has done to lead the region to deal with climate change.
Guterres, who arrived here on Tuesday night, will meet Fijian President Jioji Konrote and hold a bilateral meeting with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Thursday.