President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on partners from wealthy countries to meet the climate financial commitments they made to tackle global warming in developing countries.
“We call on our partners from wealthier countries to meet the financial commitments they have made. It is a great concern that these wealthier countries have failed to meet their undertakings to mobilise 100 billion dollars a year for developing economies to take climate action,” the President said.
President Ramaphosa was speaking during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
He told world leaders that Africa is warming faster than the rest of the world, with 17 of the 20 climate hotspots around the world found in Africa.
“Africa is least responsible for the climate damage that has been caused and yet it bears the greatest burden.
“Centuries after the end of the slave trade, decades after the end of the colonial exploitation of Africa’s resources, the people of our continent are once again bearing the cost of the industrialisation and development of the wealthy nations of the world,” he said.
President Ramaphosa stressed “this is a price that the people of Africa are no longer prepared to pay”.
“Many countries in the North count their assets in the mineral resources that are beneath the African soil. The wealth of Africa belongs to Africans. The mineral wealth that is beneath the soil of Africa must in the end accrue to Africans,” he said.
The President urged global leaders to accelerate global decarbonisation while pursuing equality and shared prosperity.
He underscored the need to advance all three pillars of the Paris Agreement – mitigation, adaptation and support, with equal ambition and urgency.
“African countries, alongside other developing economy countries, need increased financial support to both implement the 2030 Agenda and achieve their climate change goals in a comprehensive and integrated manner.
“We need to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, as agreed at COP27,” the President said.
Reform of global institutions
President Ramaphosa called on the global community to ensure the essential qualities that define humanity are evident in the institutions that manage the conduct of international relations.
“We require institutions that are inclusive, representative, democratic and advance the interests of all nations. We require a renewed commitment to multilateralism, based on clear rules and supported by effective institutions.
“This is the moment to proceed with the reform of the United Nations Security Council, to give meaning to the principle of the sovereign equality of nations and to enable the council to respond more effectively to current geopolitical realities,” he said.
He said he is pleased that the Common African Position on the reform of the Security Council is increasingly enjoying wide support.
He further advocated that the process must move to text-based negotiations, creating an opportunity for convergence between Member States.
“We must ensure that the voice of the African continent and the global South is strengthened in the United Nations and broader multilateral system. All the peoples represented here in this United Nations had their origins in Africa,” the President said. – SAnews.gov.za