climate-change-vanuatu“We are here to protect a wider Earth community, our people and our planet, from the most significant crimes of concern to the international community.

Justice must not only be seen to be done, Justice must be done — and nothing less.”

These are the words of the Minister of Justice and Community Services, Ronald Warsal, when he delivered his powerful statement as the first Minister from Vanuatu, and the only Minister from the Pacific to attend, the 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute and International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands on November 17.

The Minister said the International Criminal Court must extend its outreach to the Pacific States.

He said he did not speak only as the Minister of Justice for Vanuatu, but also as a father of four children, as a representative for his people and as a man who has direct experience of the trauma that his people have suffered as a result of climate change.

He said, “This is nothing less than an ecological, economic and cultural disaster.

“People are being displaced, tribes and languages lost and an ancient heritage wiped off the face the earth, with no chance of ever returning.

“Ours is a quest of epic proportions, of a David and Goliath story, where we are often the smallest and the unheard, but I come here to reach out to all of you, to ask for you to stand strong with us, as we find a path towards true justice, and inter-generational security and peace. Because protecting this world, and the beauty of all creatures upon it, is not something we do for ourselves, but because we are the trustees of the future of our children and we are also the guardians of the future of our Earth and seas”. READ MORE