Standing ovation for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner at UN Climate Summit
Teacher, poet, journalist, and environmental activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands delivered “haunting words” that “have made the most lasting impression” at the 2014 UN Climate Summit that took place on Tuesday 23 September. Kathy delivered a two-minute statement and a poem, "Dear Matafele Peinem", written to her seven-month-old daughter, which brought world leaders to tears. As the poem concluded, Kathy’s partner Makerusa Porotesano brought their daughter, young Matafele, to center stage. Kathy received a standing ovation from the audience, including over 120 Heads of State, civil society, the private sector and UN staff in the audience. Kathy was one of the 38 civil society representatives selected through UN-NGLS’ global, open nomination process, conducted at the request of the Executive Office of the Secretary General for the Climate Summit.