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  • Friday, 09 September 2022

Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat Sets Forth Common African Path for COP27 in Closing Speech at Egypt-ICF

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, delivered the closing speech during the closing ceremony of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in its second edition, which concluded on Friday.

 The speech was delivered in the presence of Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, the Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Jean-Paul Adam, and the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Hanan Morsy.

 “I would like to thank President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for his participation in the Forum, which reinforces Egypt’s leadership and political will to strengthen multilateral cooperation and to expedite efforts to mainstream the climate change agenda with Egypt Vision 2030 to create a prosperous future for next generations,” the minister said. 

 Al-Mashat added that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s speech during the opening ceremony presented a clear message to the world, reiterating that fighting climate change in Africa cannot be achieved without adequate support from the international community. 

 The Minister highlighted that Egypt-ICF witnessed several panel discussions, workshops and roundtables that are pushing the global conversation forward on how to implement practical solutions that will secure water, energy and food. These conversations also create momentum to forge dialogue in the run-up to COP27. 

 Moreover, Al-Mashat underscored that Egypt-ICF turns the world’s eyes on Africa’s climate change challenges, and stipulates clear and explicit messages that sets forth a common path for all stakeholders to follow in order to encourage nexus-based investments across catchment areas and empower the African countries to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

 Participants, particularly African ministries of economy, finance and environment, from 23 countries, have agreed on a number of recommendations, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, to lay down the foundations for a unified vision on the road to COP27 in November. 

 A joint communique was created in collaboration with 17 international institutions, and development partners to push forward Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water (NWFE) as a practical model that translates national priorities into implementable and investable projects. 

The communique also addresses the need for liquidity in fiscally constrained African and developing countries to invest in climate resilience, as well as the urgency to strengthen the capacity of African countries to take advantage of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) and other innovative financing mechanisms, including green and blue bonds and debt swaps for biodiversity and sustainable development. 

The communique also proposes the establishment of a Sustainable Sovereign Debt Hub that addresses four interlinked aims of reducing the cost of capital for developing countries, in particular by building harmonization on the deployment of blended resources to maximize the opportunity for issuance of SDG and climate-linked performance bonds.

 Under the same theme of moving from pledges to implementation, the Minister said that Egypt-ICF witnessed the release of the first draft of the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing in collaboration with over 100 international entities that are considered as global leaders in fighting climate change. 

With the official launch to be held during COP27, the guidebook is a timely initiative to go beyond pledges into fostering inclusive partnerships towards a climate resilient future. It aims to outline the key role of each stakeholder in translating financial commitments into implementable projects and to capture opportunities to leverage and catalyze needed finance and investments to support the climate agenda.

 “Egypt-ICF also fostered stronger trilateral and South-South cooperation to promote knowledge and technical exchange through several interactive workshops that included more than 50 participants from a number of the African countries with the participation of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs,” Al-Mashat noted.

 Pushing forward regional climate action, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched on Thursday the New Country strategy 2022-2026 on the sidelines of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF 2022).

Understanding more deeply the national policy context, the new country strategy builds on the achievements and lessons learned from previous strategies and enhances the cooperation between the Bank and Government of Egypt over a period of five years. The main objectives of the CSP 2022-2026 with the African Development Bank are gender-responsive climate action, improved climate-smart agriculture practices and increased renewable energy generation capacity.

 “Egypt-ICF2022 serves as a start point for more progress in order to fulfill climate pledges and ensure a just transition for our continent,” Al-Mashat said.

Al-Mashat concluded by thanking the African finance, economy and environment ministries, who contributed to charting a roadmap for in the lead-up to COP27 through a joint communique that expresses the aspirations and ambitions of Africa