President Mohamed Nasheed has, yesterday, spoken to a rally attended by hundreds of labour, environmental, student, and community activists, who were calling for actions on climate change and social justice.

The rally, which was held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture as part of the climate week beginning from 21 September, was organised by the Realising Rights: the Ethical Globalisation Initiative.

In his speech, which was carried as question and answer session, hosted by former Prime Minister of Ireland and the chairperson of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, the President emphasised the importance of grassroots movements to pressure their leaders to take action on climate change.

The President said: “I’m not saying this because I have read this from a book, but I’m saying this because I’m living it.”

“We have changed a thirty-year dictatorship against all odds.”

The President went on to say that at the heart of addressing climate change lied issues of good governance, because without consulting the ordinary people and funding through corrupted governance would not result in positive outcomes.

He added the Maldives experience was an example.

The President further said he believed that people were not that “stupid” to ignore climate change and spell their own or their own grandchildren’s destruction.

Earlier in yesterday, President Mohamed Nasheed attended the opening of the NY°C Climate Week. Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Tony Blair, and the Climate Group hosted the conference, which was also attended by United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon.