Glassie, who attended the conference last week and spoke on “Climate Change and Health in Small Island Developing States”, said the conference provided a perfect platform for countries such as the Cook Islands to voice their concerns on climate change issues.
The COP23 meeting, which ended on Friday, was hosted by Fiji in support of Germany with the aim of defining how the Paris Agreement on climate change should be applied.
The Paris climate agreement is an arrangement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance, starting in the year 2020.
Glassie said the conference allowed Small Island Developing States to emphasise their need to be assisted on the climate change issues they face.
“I noticed that this climate change conference was really a conference for the Pacific people because the chairman was the prime minister of Fiji and the event had a good representation of the Pacific,” he said.
“The Pacific region in the past have always been underplayed by bigger countries but this conference provided us that platform to voice our concerns.
“The Western Pacific, of which we are part, represents 1.9 million people. We have dangerous infectious diseases.
“Besides non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, we still have malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and those types of vector infectious diseases which are connected to climate change.
“We can’t afford to fight them because of our economic situation, so conferences like the COP23 allows us to pledge for support from the international communities.”
Prime minister Henry Puna, Finance minister Mark Brown and other key senior government officials also attended the conference.