Speech - UNDP Country Director

May 7, 2015

CVF Regional Workshop for Africa

 

Statement

 

 

Samuel Bwalya

Country Director

UNDP Ethiopia

 

7 May 2015

UN Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

 

Excellencies

Honorable State Ministers,

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my pleasure to be present this morning at the start of a very important regional event that aims to codify climate change policy priorities for addressing vulnerability to climate change in Africa.

 

I would like to thank all of you who have travelled from across Africa and those from outside Africa to join us here today and to convey a warm welcome to you all to Addis – the political capital of Africa.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations Development Programme is honored by the trust placed on us by Member States participating in the Climate Vulnerable Forum to develop a global project to institutionally and programmatically assist countries address their vulnerability to climate and support the forum’s work.

 

UNDP has a track record in successfully supporting these processes at different levels. Many of you will be familiar with our work hosting regional gatherings around the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the expected Paris agreement of the UNFCCC – The meeting for Africa was held in Addis only some weeks back.

 

UNDP is a major global actor that is effectively using its presence in over 170 countries to bring to bear lessons from policy dialogue and on the ground interventions to inform strategic positions formulated and adopted at global, regional and national levels. We are assisting countries to implement climate change activities on adaptation, mitigation and REDD+ initiatives, and also through our partnership with the Global Environment Facility, the Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Special Climate Change Fund among others.

 

Here in Ethiopia, we are partnering with a government that has demonstrated strong political commitment to build a climate resilient economy by 2025.  UNDP has been supporting in all aspects of the national process towards constructing a Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy and road map for implementation and financing including the establishment of CRGE Facility. We have also been privileged to support a number of key sectors, to promote renewable energy, enhance climate information and early warning systems, protect biodiversity, promote green and sustainable cities and promote sustainable land use, as well as to promote resilience to climate change at all levels.

Distinguished Participants,

The global response to climate change efforts has unfortunately fallen short of our hopes and expectations. The repercussion of 20 years of inadequate action has adversely affected Africa more than any other region.

 

UNDP remains committed to support dialogue on climate and development issues to help countries to articulate and implement smart solutions for address vulnerability to climate change.

 

African countries must stay in touch with each other and with the rest of the world often (including through this forum) to timely share experiences in order to effectively tackle contemporary development challenges. African countries need to learn from each other more than more than ever before and to tap into the ingenuity of its people, and innovations and best practices available across the continent and the world to firmly tackle climate vulnerabilities and associated development challenges including those for which this forum is intimately dedicated.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2015 is a critical year for international reflection and policy making around sustainable development goals. We have already had the Sendai conference on disaster risk reduction and in just a matter of weeks Ethiopia is hosting the much-anticipated global Financing for Development conference here in Addis Ababa. Preparation is also in full swing for the World Humanitarian Summit, which takes place next year in Istanbul.

 

Alongside the SDGs and MDGs, the Paris conference on climate change this year in France, commonly referred to as COP21, is expected to determine the post-2015 international parameters for the global climate agenda. All of these international processes will have a role in shaping the future for Africa and indeed the rest of the world.

 

Today’s Climate Vulnerable Forum on Africa gives you an opportunity to reflect more comprehensively on the specific priorities for Africa to enhance the continent’s response to the impacts of climate change. We trust that you will come up with a set of pragmatic recommendations targeting new, scaled up and innovative interventions at national, regional and global levels.

 

As you deliberate over the next two days I encourage you to keep in mind that you have a unique opportunity to ensure that Africa’s voice is fed into next round of the “Durban Platform” negotiations to be held in Bonn in June and shape a collective orientation in the run-up to and after COP21. Please dig deeper into your frustrations and challenges, dig deeper into your aspirations and deeply reflect on your greatest achievements to influence and shape the global agenda on climate change for Africa’s continuity prosperity moving forward.

 

UNDP is firmly committed to continue to support you to play this important role so that Africa’s priorities and needs can be firmly be articulated in the global response to address vulnerabilities to Climate Change on the continent. This is important and needs our synergetic response and country level commitment to navigate this terrain and build robust and climate resilient African economy.

 

It is sincere desire that you will a fruitful discussion, and for those visiting Ethiopia for the first time to take time to sample the fine Ethiopia cuisines and hospitalities to reward yourselves for your long two-days of engaging and exhausting deliberations.

Thank you for your active attention.

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