UN Deputy Secretary-General Addresses AU Assembly: “Climate Change Strikes at the Heart of Africa’s Key Development Concerns”

© UN1 July 2009: In a speech to the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), taking place in Sirte, Libya, from 1-3 July 2009, Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, underlined that tackling climate change must be a top priority for Africa.

She explained that unaddressed, climate change would hinder efforts to support agriculture and eradicate hunger as it “strikes at the heart of Africa's key development concerns: clean energy, better water, reduced disease incidence and increased food security.” She stressed the need to seal a deal this December in Copenhagen on a new climate change agreement that would help African countries adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She called on industrialized countries to commit to substantial emissions cuts to provide additional, adequate and predictable financing to developing countries for mitigation and adaptation. Noting that the majority of those who suffer the most from climate change are in Africa and have contributed the least to the phenomenon, she underscored the need to address equity issues in the future climate change agreement. In conclusion, highlighting that climate change, rapid urban growth, unemployment and food insecurity can lead to open conflict, she urged a new multilateralism that delivers results for all. [UN Press Release][AU Summit Website]