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The Climate Vulnerable Forum has convened in Bangladesh for countries worried about how climate change threatens them to create a unified statement just weeks ahead of UN-sponsored talks on the same subject in Durban, South Africa.
"Under the Dhaka agreement, they will commit to reducing their carbon emissions because for them, it's a matter of survival," said Al Jazeera's Nicolas Haque, reporting from northeastern Bangladesh.
The 18 countries represented at the forum are rallying for climate justice for more than a collective 500 million people.
"Yet, their voices don't carry very much political weight because they are from mostly poor countries," our correspondent said.
Stefan Priesner, the UN's country director in Dhaka told the Associated Press news agency that the countries were expected to issue a declaration seeking action by industrialised nations and urgent support to limit increasing loss of human life and other damages.
But the countries convened at the Climate Vulnerable Forum do not know what kind of demands they can work with to create an effective lobby at the Durban conference.
"It's extremely discouraging that even public opinion in major countries -- and I think of North America in particular -- does not seem to understand the importance of this issue," Ross Mountain, the General Director of the organisation that organised the Bangladesh forum, told Al Jazeera.
The officials have reportedly discussed ways of getting assistance in technology, capacity and finance to adapt and pursue low-carbon growth.
Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh's prime minister, was scheduled to inaugurate the conference in Dhaka on Monday before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was also planned to speak.