Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Committee proposing Nobel for Kiribati President Tong for climate advocacy

Media Release
Sydney, AUSTRALIA, Thursday, 19th December 2013

Nobel campaign announced for global action on climate change.

“We take pleasure today to announce the formation of a Committee to promote the candidacy of Kiribati's President, His Excellency Anote Tong, for the Nobel Peace Prize,” said today Phil Glendenning, director of the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Glendenning is part of this committee formed of prominent individuals from the international community to honour this Pacific leader and to promote his climate message.

“In this part of the year when the world celebrates international human rights day, it is fitting to announce this Nobel nomination campaign - which calls us to consider the human rights of the people most at risk from climate change,” Mr Glendenning said. “For the peoples of nations like Kiribati, climate change threatens the very existence of their culture.”

“In promoting President Tong in this manner, the Committee’s aim is to call the international community to listen to the peoples of the Pacific in their pleas for urgent and major global action on climate change, Mr Glendenning said. “They understand, more than most, the dangers that climate change poses to infrastructure, health and security, and to the very future of their nations.”

“As the leader of Kiribati - one of the most vulnerable Pacific island nations - President Tong has long been calling for the world to take positive action to deal collectively and cooperatively with the threat and impact of climate change.”

“Since President Tong’s initial election to the presidency in 2003 he has helped to carry the voice of Small Island Developing States into the global debate on climate change action. He is a key advocate on the threat of long-term climate change to the national security of low-lying atoll nations like Kiribati” said Mr Glendenning who has witnessed the changes in Kiribati in recent years.

“Among international leaders President Tong has been and continues to be one of the most compelling voices in bringing to the world’s attention the fact that climate change is the ultimate challenge to human security. President Tong is a quiet man whose calm and rational voice resonates forcefully when he makes plain that climate justice is central to the quest for peace and global security in the 21st Century.

“President Tong’s eloquent perseverance, often in the face of great disappointment, is a clarion call to the world to act decisively to curb the impact of climate change on vulnerable peoples. His powerful and courageous leadership makes his candidacy both timely and significant – and worthy of the consideration of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.”

Committee membership includes:-

Ms Pelenise Alofa, Executive Director, Kiribati Climate Action Network, Kiribati;
Most Rev Sir Brian Barnes, former Catholic Archbishop, Port Moresby Papua-New Guinea;
Dr Tom Brown, former Anglican Bishop, Wellington, New Zealand;
Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann, President, Australian Council for International Development; former parliamentarian, NSW, Australia;
Sister Clare Condon sgs, 2013 Australian Human Rights Medallist: Congregational Leader, Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Australia;
Prof. Patrick Dodson, former Chairperson, Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Australia;
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister, Australia;
Mr Phil Glendenning, Director, Edmund Rice Centre, Australia;
Dr Carmen Lawrence, former Premier, Western Australia, Australia;
Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, former Vice-President, Fiji;
Rt Rev. Archbishop David Moxon, Director, Anglican Centre, Rome, Italy;
Dr Richard O'Brien, former Ambassador to Poland, Australia, Egypt and Singapore for the Republic of Ireland;
Reverend Francois Pihaatae, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches, Fiji;
Dame Meg Taylor, Compliance Advisor Ombudsman & Vice President, World Bank Group, USA;
Sr Sharon Zayac, O.P., Executive Director, Jubilee Farm, Illinois, USA

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