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Strong policy needed to address climate change - UN

by Luyanda Makapela
on 29 Jun 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Strong policy measures are needed to address climate change which is hampering agricultural production and affecting food and energy prices, says United Nations Executive Secretary of the of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Abdoulie Janneh.

Speaking at the official opening of the 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of African Union (AU) on Friday, Mr Janneh said the negative effects of climate change had to be taken into consideration as they undermined political stability and efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"We need to implement the best policy options for adaptation and technology transfer for financing these requirements," said Mr Janneh, adding that the ECA's African Climate Policy Centre will work closely with the AU to support efforts to address climate change.

He said these issues were important to the 2008 AU Summit themed "Meeting the MDGs on Water and Sanitation" as water was an essential requirement for sanitation and health in households and human settlements.

"Our development effort must be about improving human conditions, as a result, intensive efforts are needed to provide African people with safe access to water and sanitation," said Mr Janneh.

For its part, Mr Janneh said, the UN system remained committed to supporting the efforts of African countries at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

"I wish to reiterate that while Africa's development is wide-ranging and complex, the best response is unity of purpose, logic in policy, and the effective use of limited resources to build more stable and competitive economies," he said

Earlier this month, world leaders resolved to increase investment in agriculture, to address obstacles to food access and to use the planet's resources in a sustainable way for present and future generations.

The high level three-day conference, the World Food Summit, resolved to use all means possible to alleviate the suffering caused by the current crisis to stimulate food production.

The conference was held in Rome, Italy and attended by 50 Heads of State, including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf.

A draft Declaration of the Food World Security Challenges for Climate Change and Bio-Energy was also adopted at the meeting.

On behalf of South Africa, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka attended the conference.

She discussed how higher food prices impacted negatively on the purchasing power of poor households. - BuaNews

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