20 November 2017, New York, Speaking at the Side-Event 'Island COP 2017: 1.5C Science, Significance, and ingredients for success" organised by the 'Climate Analytics' group, Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, highlighted on the leadership of AOSIS in Climate Change, including the key role of the Small Island States in establishing the UNFCCC. He highlighted the instrumental role of SIDS in ensuring a strong outcome of the Paris agreement, such as 1.5 degrees and loss and damage. Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed also announced that the Maldives, in its capacity as AOSIS Chair, in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency, has launched the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy or IRIE. The primary objective of IRIE is to enhance AOSIS political coordination and outreach to development partners with a view to mobilizing the resources required for a rapid transition to renewable energy systems in SIDS. He said that the initiative will kick off with an AOSIS Ministerial meeting in the Maldives on 10-11 October. The two-day programme will provide an opportunity for AOSIS Ministers to meet with development partners to take stock in the state of renewable energy deployment in SIDS, including critical needs, good practices, and challenges The Permanent Representative welcomed the Island focus of the next COP in Fiji and expressed confidence that the Fijian team will be successful in guiding the Small Island States to a strong outcome. The event focused on the importance of the urgent implementation of the 1.5C track by countries, and the panellists presented the latest scientific findings relating to climate impacts, vulnerability and risk relating to small island states and low lying costal regions and outlined the key elements that could make the "Island COP" to be held in Fiji a success. ENDS