The Third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development
Monday، 20 June 2022 - 12:00 AM
Under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the activities of the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development were launched on Tuesday 21-6-2022 in Cairo, under the theme, “Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient and Sustainable Continent.”
The two-day forum will address a number of Africa’s priorities, including enhancing cooperation to combat terrorism, overcoming the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, achieving food security, and advancing post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts; reflecting Egypt’s keenness to advance the African cooperation agenda at a critical juncture in international relations.
This year’s edition of the Aswan Forum has special significance as it will be building up to the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be hosted by Egypt in November 2022, aiming to emphasize the impacts of climate change on sustainable peace and development efforts in Africa.
As the Champion of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa, Egypt took the initiative to launch the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development during its presidency of the African Union in 2019.
The Forum, with two previous editions, serves as a high-level platform, bringing together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organizations, the private sector as well as civil society to thoroughly discuss the challenges facing the African continent and propose holistic and innovative approaches to strengthen the interlinkages between peace, security, and sustainable development in cooperation with a number of international partners.
The Strategic Partners of the Third Edition of the Forum include the Government of Japan, the Government of Sweden, and the African Development Bank Group. The Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) acts as the Secretariat of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.
The activities of the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development were launched on Tuesday 21-6-2022 in Cairo, under the theme, “Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient and Sustainable Continent.”
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivered a speech at the inaugural session of the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.
Shoukry asserted that Egypt, in its capacity as current president of the UN Climate Conference (COP27) will coordinate stances with African states to come up with results that serve the international climate action especially the reduction of emissions and coping up with climate impact.
Shoukry, also, said Aswan Forum agenda was outlined with a special focus on the agenda of green recovery and enhancing Africa's ability to cope up with the challenges posed by the climate change.
He voiced happiness over convening the third edition of the forum, asserting Egypt's keenness on continuing backing for the inter-African cooperation, which he termed as the optimum way for handling current extraordinary circumstances, a matter which was reflected in Sisi's keenness to deliver a word to the forum.
Shoukry said that the third edition of Aswan Forum will provide a vast space for deliberate dialogues on interrelated challenges which threaten African peace and stability with a focus on finding out creative solutions that achieve the agenda of the African Union for 2062 and the Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030.
He reviewed Egypt's vision to counter the challenges facing the African continent in light of the extraordinary developments taking place worldwide topped by the world food crisis and the repercussions of coronavirus pandemic.
He reiterated the need for diversifying the resources of food supplies for Africa, urging solidarity of international efforts to help the black continent with a package of economic incentives.
Shourky, also, underlined the importance of adopting an integrated approach to fight terrorism and build strong national foundations to be able to repel the current threats of terrorism.
He, further, extended thanks to all partners, regional and international organizations as well as research centers on backing the convocation of the forum, noting that this coordination was a practical model on constructive cooperation which aims at achieving the aspirations of the various peoples.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi addressed the 3rd edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, via videoconference.
President Sisi welcomed all participants in the event, asserting that the forum is considered an African platform that has proven day by day, since its launch during Egypt’s presidency of the African Union in 2019, adding that it is an effective and inclusive African forum that tackles the various threats and challenges facing the continent and "seeks through it to crystallize common visions that strengthen relations between peace and sustainable development, and enhance cooperation among us and with various international partners."
President Sisi said that the forum is being held this year at a very critical time as the international community is suffering from increasing tensions that have far-reaching consequences on various political, economic and development levels, and whose effects are also reflected on the African countries, especially on food and energy security.
President Sisi, also, said that the health, social and economic repercussions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic require concerted joint efforts in order to overcome the challenges and promote resilience in the continent, the.
The president highlighted in particular the food crisis that the African continent is currently witnessing, saying it may have serious repercussions on the safety and stability of our societies, which requires taking a package of urgent and effective measures in coordination with international partners and the international community to support African countries in containing its effects, which can be done through diversifying sources of food and securing supply chains for countries of the continent.
The president called for taking measures to maintain food security by providing advanced technology in the field of agriculture to African countries, as well as intensifying efforts to increase the production of agricultural crops in an effort to reach the stage of self-sufficiency.
President Sisi stressed that the focus of this year’s theme of the African Union on “increasing resilience in the field of food and food security” reflects the extent of attention our countries pay to food security challenges and the need to provide food to the people in our African continent given challenges related to water scarcity and hiking prices. Therefore, it is necessary to find quick solutions to overcome this global crisis.
President Sisi pointed out that convening of the third edition of the forum coincides with Egypt's upcoming hosting of the 27th session of the World Climate Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, where your discussions during the next two days will represent an important opportunity to shed light on the role that climate change plays in multiplying the challenges of peace and security in Africa, especially that our continent is considered the most vulnerable to its negative effects due to the problems of desertification and scarcity of water and natural resources, and the undermining of development efforts.
President Sisi asserted that this requires accelerating the implementation of international commitments and commitments towards our continent to adapt to the negative effects of climate change, doubling the international funding allocated to it, and enhancing resilience, which would directly and effectively contribute to peacebuilding efforts and ensure its sustainability.
The President stressed that the convening of the Aswan Forum this year provides an important opportunity to continue to convey the voice of the African continent to all partners and actors at the international level and to push for its issues to remain high on the international community’s priorities at a very complex international time in which priorities and concerns shift in connection with successive changes.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed that the current challenges facing Africa requires enhancing joint efforts among the African countries through a number of initiatives that aim to reach active and out-of-the-box solutions to help the continent surpass the current conditions.
President Sisi said Egypt is keen on establishing a Sahel and Sahara anti-terrorism center to serve peoples in the region in facing the consequences of such phenomenon.
He added that Egypt also seeks to support African institutions in afflicted areas particularly in the Sahel region through offering training courses to the African peace-keeping forces.
He highlighted that Egypt has launched the African Union Centre for Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) to play an active role in setting up necessary programs and activities to support countries that have gone through conflicts to help them reach stability, security and development and avoid other conflicts.
The president also stressed that enhancing the role of women in peace and security in Africa, as well as benefiting from the energies and visions of young people towards making the future of our countries, remains a basic pillar that should be adhered to in the face of successive crises and intertwined challenges.
President Sisi said that despite the real effort and the achievements we made together in Africa during the past period, the exceptional circumstances that our world is witnessing today continue to confirm that there is still a long way to go to achieve the hopes of our peoples. This requires all of us to unite, and continue to work with full responsibility and a firm determination and a firm belief that we are able together to overcome these difficulties towards a better future for our African continent.
President Sisi concluded his speech by emphasizing that he is confident that the deliberations during the forum will constitute an appreciable contribution towards formulating and crystallizing specific visions that would enhance our joint efforts and light the way towards a better future for all.
The UN Secretary General António Guterres delivered a speech at the opening of at Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, in which he highlighted that the people of Africa are facing unprecedented and multidimensional crises.
Guterres said "We need to end the COVID-19 pandemic, with governments, global and regional organizations, and pharmaceutical companies working better together to deliver and locally produce tests, vaccines and treatments."
He, also, said "We must expand African countries’ access to financing and debt relief, so they can invest in job-creation, poverty reduction, expanded social protection, food security and green growth."
He added that "We need to silence the guns across Africa, and address conflict’s many roots by tackling inequalities and discrimination, and strengthening governance, institutions, public services and justice systems."
He noted that "We need bold climate action. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Africa as a global hotspot for the climate crisis. Breaching the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree goal would be disastrous."
He went on to say "Many AU member states have come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, clearly identified adaptation needs and adopted the African Union Green Stimulus Program."
He added "The world must match Africa’s ambitions with resources, financing and technologies to accelerate the transition from coal and other fossil fuels to renewables," he said. "I am calling for a five-point proposal to achieve a renewable energy revolution, making renewables technology freely available as a global public good."
Guterres underlined that "Despite the continent’s enormous renewable energy potential, just two percent of renewable energy investments have gone to Africa over the last decade."
He said "Countries must arrive in Egypt for COP27 determined with clear plans to close this financing gap."
He added saying "And they should support the work of the World Meteorological Organization to ensure that every person in the world has access to early warning systems for disasters over the next five years."
He concluded by saying "Across all these areas, the United Nations stands with Africa as we shape a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for all Africans."
For his part, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat thanked Egypt for organizing the Aswan Peace Forum, hoping that the forum's results will contribute to efforts to shore up stability and peace in the African continent.
He also stressed the importance of mobilizing efforts to confront climate change and provide comprehensive solutions to the enormous challenges facing Africa.
In this regard, he underlined the importance of investing in the climate field, saying there should be new energy applications to back efforts exerted by developing countries on this score.
He also hoped that the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC, set for Sharm El Sheikh in November will end in success.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry chaired the first session of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, held in Cairo, under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
The session, held under the title of "Africa in the Age of Challenges and Response", involved a number of African ministers and senior officials from the African Union and the United Nations.
Addressing the session, Senegalese Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said the forum is an important opportunity to outline a vision for solving the problems facing the African states especially in the wake of coronavirus pandemic as well as the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.
He highlighted the recent visit made by Senegal President Macky Sall to Egypt in February and his talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on issues of common interest.
Minister of Environment Yassmine Fouad particiapted as a keynote speaker in a session on "promoting the symbiotic relation between adaptation and peace-building”, which was held on Tuesday as part of the activities of the 3rd Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development (Aswan Forum III).
She said that Egypt, as the host of the upcoming global climate summit (COP27), is considering many political inputs to deal with the symbiotic relationship among climate, peace, and sustainability, Minister of Environment.
Fouad added that the agenda of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UNFCCC, scheduled for November in Sharm El-Sheikh, will focus on a raft of security-related issues, given the fact that equitable energy access and transition are directly associated with regional security and stability.
She said Egypt is also committed to building on the outcomes of the previous climate summit in Glasgow (COP26), including the Global Goal on Adaptation and developed countries' pledge to double adaptation finance, which would contribute to achieving security and sustainability.
Speaking about the food security issue under current global challenges, Foaud revealed that one day has been dedicated to discussing food security and agriculture issues, while another has been dedicated to discussing the impact of climate change on water resources.
Participants in the 3rd edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development asserted on Wednesday 22-6-2022 that water could be a spring for peace, as well as a source for conflicts and wars in case of scarcity.
Kelly Ann Naylor, UN Water Unit Vice-Chair, affirmed the importance of including this issue in the agenda of COP27, to be held in Sharm El Sheikh in November, urging the bodies concerned to rally their efforts in this regard.
Referring to the developments that occurred worldwide over the past ten years, Naylor called for reaching solutions, topped by clean energy conversion, noting that 2 billion people worldwide are suffering from scarcity of water.
Asserting the significance of ensuring water security as water is correlated to peace, she pointed out that the UN is set to hold a conference on water in 2023, the first by the international body since the 70s.
Meanwhile, participants underlined the importance of enhancing regional and continental measures that give a boost to sustainable development and peace.
They also discussed the impact of climate change on water, food and energy in the African continent.
The Closing session of the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development
Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Ambassador Hamdi Sanad Loza delivered a speech on behalf of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the closing session of the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, in which he applauded the forum's rich discussions that tackled many pressing issues and challenges facing the African continent.
Loza said that the discussions held at the 3rd Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development proved beyond the shadow of doubt that Africa is the continent most vulnerable to global variations, whether in terms of sustainable development, food security, access to heath services, repose to pandemics and endemic, or global warming.
He added that these discussions led to the conclusion that building state institutions and drawing effective plans to upgrade them and ensure their resilience to various shocks is an indispensable step towards a safe future.
He, also, said "This is a continuous process that must be entrenched in our medium-term and long-term strategies at the national as well as regional levels."
He noted that the forum had become a regular platform for promoting African cooperation and bringing together all the parties concerned with African affairs.
He, further, expressed sincere thanks and appreciation for the support provided to the forum as a role model for constructive cooperation and effective awareness of the continent's issues.
For his part, Ambassador Ahmed Nihad Abdel Latif, Director of the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPP), said that in its third edition, the forum witnessed great interaction and participation of young people for the first time, declaring that the document containing the forum's recommendations is in the process of preparation.
He stressed that development and peace are the main axes that we have touched upon during the past few days.