Incoming Chair, Ethiopia, Remarks: Climate Diplomacy, Leadership and Negotiations Seminar

Climate Diplomacy, Leadership and Negotiations Seminar

12 August 2016 Taal Vista Lodge, Tagaytay, Philippines
H.E. Dr. Shiferawu Teklemariam, Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change
Your Excellency, Emmanuel M. de Guzman,
CVF president and Secretary of the Climate Change Commission of the Republic of Philippines Distinguished Representatives of the CVF Troika plus and members, Excellences, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, At the outset, let me thank our host, the Government of Philippines and its people for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to my delegation. I would also like to express my gratitude to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for their continued support of the Forum.
And, I would like to extend my warm gratitude to all of you for coming to this important knowledge-sharing platform, and in particular the development partners like GIZ that have supported this work.
I am honored and pleased to be here and address this seminar entitled “Climate Diplomacy, Leadership and Negotiations” that aims to enhance the capacity of the members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) to collaborate and advance the collective agenda at international and domestic levels.
As you are aware, Ethiopia will assume the Chair of the CVF at the conclusion of these events on Monday. Philippines has set the bar high. This Forum has achieved a huge amount. The climate challenge however is far from resolved. So in taking forward the work of this important group, we will strive to continue to strengthen our impact. The lives and livelihoods of our people are at stake and we cannot gamble that away.
Only a few decades back one had to argue about the realities of climate change. We have come a long way in this battle; there were times where the change in climate was attributed to God and that we were being punished for our evil deeds. Science has proved without a doubt that it is we, humans, that have caused the damage.
The issue of climate change has always been associated with the future generation; but now we are witnessing the effects ourselves. It is inevitable that the climate change has adversely impacted the basic requirements for maintaining health: clean air and water, sufficient food and adequate shelter. We know it’s a developmental challenge that requires international collaboration.
Our planet is a resource we share as a global community;. Oure commen home is under serious treat due to climate change. It is indeed a concern to every individual and society, regardless of the state of development, political orientation or geographic location. One of our recent achievements to address this urgent challenge is the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Deal is a landmark achievement for combating climate change, and a hope for the effectiveness of multilateralism. It represents an ambitious, balanced, equitable and legally binding agreement. Moreover, its implementation will definitively and irreversibly accelerate the transition to a climate resilient and carbon neutral global economy.
We need to emphasize on the benefits of multilateralism by mobilizing a large group of progressive countries to support its implementation. We should also focus on building trust and confidence on international agreements that are transparent and have a set of rules that apply to all while respecting national circumstances and capabilities, as well as development priorities and levels.
We, particularly the members of this Forum, might not have significant contribution for the existing climatic problems. However, individually and as a group, we are striving for a low carbon economy. Advancing our capacity on climate diplomacy, leadership, communication and negotiations in different processes should be vital for such efforts.
Facilitating and stimulating South-South sharing of experiences and expertise, as well as enhancing the capacity of the CVF members will strengthening the efforts of CVF members in their international and public diplomacy. Moreover, it is important in exercising leadership for climate action and in advancing the interests and agenda of vulnerable countries through global negotiations. However, the advocacy put forward by CVF is relevant for all nations and nature.
It is my sincere belief that this seminar would help us to better understand the politics of climate change and how we can maintain and advance our interest in this complex process.

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