President of the Comoros Ikililou Dhoinine. UN Photo/Lou Rouse

27 September 2012 ? The leader of the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros, President Ikililou Dhoinine, took the podium at the United Nations General Assembly today to appeal for international help to help small countries like his confront the potentially devastating impact of climate change.

?The time has come to re-launch with greater resolve several international projects that have been suspended, notably those that favour mitigation and adaptation measure in the face of climate change,? President Dhoinine told the 67th Assembly on the third day of its annual General Debate, at UN Headquarters in New York.

?We must react effectively to this phenomenon that affects the whole planet, but especially small island states like Comoros,? he said, noting that two weeks of unusually torrential rains in April had delivered a disastrous blow to his country?s economy.

Turning to the general world situation, President Dhoinine called for rapid action to put an end to the ?terrible suffering? of the people of Syria, where over 18,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of others driven from their homes since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted 18 months ago.

He called for full UN membership for a Palestinian state based on a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side within secure and recognized borders, and condemned attacks against civilians and the destruction of sacred sites in northern Mali, where Islamic militants seized control earlier this year.

As other African leaders have done at the General Debate, he also called for reform and expansion of the 15-member Security Council to give Africa the representation it deserves.

President Dhoinine is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly?s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.

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