African Union Conference Confirms Zenawi as Coordinator of the African Conference on Climate Change

5 February 2010: The Heads of State and government of the African Union (AU) adopted a decision on climate change during the 14th ordinary session of the AU Conference, held from 31 January-2 February 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Summit included sessions of the Permanent Representatives Committee (held from 25-26 January), the Executive Council (28-29 January), and the AU Assembly (31 January – 2 February). The main theme of the Summit was “Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development.”

The Executive Council took note of the Report (EX.CL/557(XVI)) of the Seventh Session of the African Population Commission (APC). The Council welcomed the launch of the third edition of the State of African Population Report 2008 under the theme “Population Dynamics and Climate Change: Implications for Africa's Sustainable Development,” and called on member States, in collaboration with relevant partners, to mainstream population dynamics and climate change into national development programmes. 

The AU Assembly, adopted a decision (Assembly/AU/Dec.218 (XIV)) on the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNFCCC, in which it takes note of the report of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the Coordinator of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) on the outcomes of UNFCCC COP 15. The Assembly also endorsed the provisions of the Copenhagen Accord and encouraged member States to make individual submissions to the UNFCCC Secretariat supporting the Accord in the context of common but differentiated responsibilities. The Assembly reaffirmed its stand to remain united at all future negotiations on climate change and endorsed the leadership of Meles Zenawi as coordinator of the CAHOSCC for the next two COPs in Mexico and South Africa. The Assembly further requested the CAHOSCC to establish a streamlined single negotiating structure at the ministerial and expert levels to replace the current mechanism and, additionally, to hold a post-COP 15 meeting before the next round of UNFCCC climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The Assembly also requested the chairperson of the AU Commission to register the AU as a party to the UNFCCC.

The Asembly also adopted a decision on the response to the global financial and economic crisis (Assembly/AU/Dec.284(XIV)), in which it welcomes the outcome of the G20 Summit that took place in Pittsburgh from 24-25 September 2009, including outputs on regional African integration and increasing the policy space for climate change. In the decision, the Assembly further calls on developed countries and international financial institutions to implement the recommendations and commitments from the G20 Summit as a matter of urgency. [IISD RS Briefing Note] [AU Press Release]