Global Politics

Palau envoy

The most memorable moment at the climate change talks in Bali last December came when the representative from Papua New Guinea addressed his American counterpart:

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"If you're for some reason you are not willing to lead, then please get out of the way."

That proved to be the turning point of the talks. The U.S. changed course and dropped its opposition to the drafting of a new climate change treaty. The man who challenged the U.S. that day isn't from Papua New Guinea.

He's from the United States. And he's not the only American who lobbies on behalf of Pacific Island nations. Palau's Ambassador to the United Nations, in fact, a New Yorker.

So is most of his staff. Together, they're helping Pacific island nations fight the rising tides of climate change. The World's Julia Kumari Drapkin has the story.

photos: Julia Kumari Drapkin

United Nations in New YorkUnited Nations in New York

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