Statement by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the African Summit
Wednesday، 01 February 2017 - 03:58 PM
Statement by H.E. President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the African Summit in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC)
Addis Ababa, January 31/2017
Brothers and sisters the Heads of African State and Government,
Mrs. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
It gives me great pleasure in the beginning to express all thanks and appreciation for all that efforts you have exerted during our summit for adopting viable recommendations and resolutions that would help enhance our joint action and reflect the vision of our continent and the aspirations of our peoples regarding several issues of concern on the African and international arenas. These issues included climate change which became one of the most important issues on the international agenda as it is closely related to our strenuous efforts for achieving sustainable development. It also has its negative impact on several vital sectors of the African economies; especially the sectors of agriculture and energy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I was honored over the past two years to take over the responsibility of coordinating activities of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). Several international meetings were held during that period requiring arrangements at the national level and adequate coordination at the regional level that guarantee adopting a unified African stance on several topics related to climate change. On top of these meetings was the 21st conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris; which adopted Paris Agreement in December 2015 and outlined the bases for collective international dealing with the challenge of climate change in the coming phase in a way that we hope would enhance efforts for standing up to this phenomenon and contribute to minimizing its negative impact while at the same time striking a balance with the right of developing countries to implement their development plans. That meeting was followed by our meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the 22nd conference on climate change with a view to taking the first steps to put the Paris Agreement into effect.
While we see positive results that were achieved from reaching Paris Agreement atop of which come the pledge by the different international community parties to mobilize efforts for maintaining the average increase of temperature below "2" centigrade and working to provide the required support for achieving this goal, we are aware at the same time that this agreement raises several challenges which require us to be alert and be well prepared to deal with them. These challenges include guaranteeing that our commitment to the required measures to fight climate change would not hamper our national efforts for achieving economic development or add new burdens on our limited national budgets due to lack of either finance or environment-friendly technology or qualified national cadres.
Also, I would like to underline the necessity of exerting efforts so that the Paris Agreement and all resolutions that were adopted on fighting the phenomenon of climate change would not lead some countries to take collective or unilateral measures such as imposing taxes on carbon or applying the standards of carbon footprint or any other measures that would negatively reflect on the exports of developing countries or cause immense harms to vital sectors in our countries atop of which come the sectors of agriculture and transport.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you know, our African continent is the least continent responsible for the escalation of the phenomenon of climate change. Even though it is the most affected by the negative impact of this phenomenon and pays a high price due to its needs to acclimatize with these harmful effects which we see now either in the increase of sea level in the deltas of African rivers, including the River Nile, or in harming basic sectors and major residential activities of our economies such as agriculture due to spells of drought and floods as is the case in southern and eastern Africa.
Therefore we had to pool our efforts together and coordinate our stances for achieving our interests during the process of international negotiations. We have actually managed over the past two years to enhance interaction and coordination of our African mechanisms that are concerned with climate change and especially between the African Group of Negotiators that is led by sisterly the Republic of Mali and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) which is chaired by Egypt along with the CAHOSCC committee.
This continued coordination and consultation among these frameworks succeeded in making the African continent one of the major negotiating blocs on climate change depending on the capacities of its sons either within the framework of the African Group of Negotiators or as a group of negotiators from the less developing countries. Therefore, I would like to thank all African negotiators either in the African Group or in the group of the less developing countries for their tangible efforts on this score.
Also, we have benefited from the active African contribution to this international effort where the African Group of Negotiators, in cooperation with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, outlined two initiatives. The first of these two initiatives is related to enhancing renewable power generation in Africa with a view to producing 30 gigawatt from renewable resources by the year 2020 and 300 gigawatt by the year 2030. The second initiative is related to supporting the needs of the African countries in the domain of acclimatization with climate change. I was honored to announce and launch these two initiatives in 2015. We hope that both of them would be put into effect shortly after drawing up the required legal documents.
Within this framework, I would like to seize this opportunity to thank my brother H.E. President of sisterly Guinea Alpha Conde for his sustained efforts that are aimed at activating the initiative of renewable energy. I would like also to commend efforts of the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission for supporting the African countries in this regard.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The CAHOSCC represents the high-level framework for promoting and supporting the African stance on climate change. I worked during my two-year term in office as chairman of the committee to enhance coordination frameworks at all African levels and to guarantee massive participation in consultations on its topics. I would like to seize this opportunity and present you with my report on the activities of the committee in several fields including negotiations on climate change in Paris and Marrakesh along with efforts of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment concerned with climate change and the activities of the African Group of Experts along with the development that was achieved in upgrading activities of the green fund for financing climate change and the development of the different African initiatives.
I was keen on outlining several recommendations in the report that are related to issues of priority including the role of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and means of boosting the role of CAHOSCC in the future to guarantee the continuation of presidential support for it and transferring expertise among our African countries together with a draft resolution on climate change which I hope you would adopt. I hope also you would adopt my report I present you with which included recommendations and major messages that were discussed and adopted during today's meeting of the committee.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to conclude my speech with welcoming my brother H.E. President of Gabon Ali Bongo in his capacity as the new coordinator of the committee expressing all wishes of success in his mission and confirming my full commitment and the commitment of Egypt to extend all possible support for His Excellence and for sisterly country Gabon.
I thank you.