In a little under two weeks the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, will meet with leaders from around the Pacific region for a High Level Dialogue on Climate Change and Biodiversity.

Beyond the symbolic significance of this event, which will take place in “the Meeting House of the Pacific”, Pacific Community headquarters in New Caledonia, this Dialogue is important for a number of reasons.

It is an illustration of France’s ongoing willingness to engage at the highest level on critical issues for Pacific island countries and territories.

It provides a platform to build common positions as we strive to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and progress towards COP24.

It is an opportunity to galvanise shared high-level ambition on climate action, aiming to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, to build resilience in island communities, to strengthen mechanisms for preserving and sustainably managing Oceania’s rich biodiversity, and to increase access for highly vulnerable Pacific countries and territories to much-needed climate finance.

The importance of giving international leaders a first-hand experience of the Pacific can never be understated and, in the case of President Macron, his personal commitment to fulfilling the promise of the Paris Agreement and his standing on the global stage raise high expectations for this inaugural visit to our corner of the planet.