Foreign minister of Vanuatu, Jotham Napat has urged China and the US to back a Vanuatu-led UN resolution seeking a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on climate change, saying it is the right thing to do.
The Pacific Island nation is leading a coalition of more than 115 countries seeking an “Advisory Opinion” on climate change from the ICJ.
The ICJ climate resolution at the ongoing 77th UN General Assembly session is expected to be presented later this week for co-sponsorship until voting is held. If the resolution is passed, the ICJ will have to issue the ruling, albeit it won’t be binding on UN member states.
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The Vanuatu resolution seeks ICJ to rule on the international legal obligation states have to tackle the environmental crisis.
Napat told ABC’s Foreign Affairs Reporter Stephen Dziedzic that Joe Biden Administration was “reluctant to take a stand” on the vote after Vanuatu’s top diplomat had discussed the issue with White House’s top Asia advisor Kurt Campbell during the latter’s visit to the capital Port Vila last week.
“We have made every attempt. I have written several letters to China through different discussions we have had simply asking if they could co-sponsor the resolution,” Napat said in a video interview.
Napat, however, said a “good number of nations were already backing Vanuatu’s resolution.”
“We are asking the US and China to consider this. It’s about our survival. It’s about the next generation.”
“We should not be greedy,” he said.
Story was adapted from AA.