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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 1079th meeting held on 21 April 2022, on Climate Change, Peace and Security in Africa:

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous pronouncements and decisions on the link between climate change, peace and security, including the Communique [PSC/AHG/COMM.1043 (2021)] adopted at its 1043rd meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government on 29 October 2021 and Communique [PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CMLXXXIV)] adopted at its 984th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government on 9 March 2021;  

Noting the opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi to the AU, and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of April 2022, H.E. Ambassador Willy Nyamitwe; the statement by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Bankole Adeoye; the presentation by H.E. Ambassador Josefa Correia Sacko, the AU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment; the statement by H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Gad, the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the AU; and the statement by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN Office to the African Union;

Affirming its solidarity will all Governments and people of Member States grappling with the adverse effects of climate change;

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Commends the efforts being deployed by the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) in providing the required political leadership and strategic guidance on the Continent’s relentless engagement on Climate Change;

2. Also commends the critical role being played by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), currently led by the Republic of Zambia, to safeguard African unity in the intricate climate change negotiations;

3. Highlights the need for Member States and Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to share experiences, lessons and best practices in addressing the adverse effects of climate change, as well as to develop more effective synergies between the relevant local, national, regional and Continental entities in order to ensure more coordinated efforts aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of climate change;

4. Underscores the importance of all Member States to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as to partner with the private sector, non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations in building effective national climate change resilience capacities, including in agriculture and in developing climate smart infrastructure.

5. Encourages Member States to continue to support and facilitate the work of the African Climate Commissions established during the COP22 held in Marrakesh, in the Kingdom of Morocco in 2016, to spearhead the implementation of the Paris Agreement , namely, the Island Climate Commission, chaired by H.E. President Wavel Ramkalawan of the Republic of Seychelles; the Congo Basin Commission, chaired by H.E. President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo; as well as the Sahel Climate Commission, chaired by H.E. President Muhamed Bazoum of the Republic of Niger; as well as to ensure that these Commissions enhance their collaboration with the AU Commission;

6. Welcomes the progress made, thus far, by the AU Commission in cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt in preparation for the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) to be held in November 2022; looks forward to its outcomes and encourages all Member States and the AU Commission to support Egypt’s presidency of COP27, in this regard;

7. Also welcomes the appointment of H.E. President Felipe Jacinto Nyusi of the Republic of Mozambique, as the AU Champion for Disaster Risk Management, as well as the appointment, by the COP 27 Presidency, of Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, who is also the UN Envoy for Financing the Sustainable Development Agenda;   

8.  Notes with concern the growing insecurity at sea, which is making it difficult for Member States to effectively secure their sea trade routes, protect and harness the benefits of their blue economies and ensure economic growth and social development for coastal communities and, in this regard, encourages Member States to implement the AU 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy as well as to further enhance ocean governance and maritime security, including redoubling efforts in combating pollution, as well as sustainable management of marine diversity;

9.  Underscores the importance of integrated implementation of all regional, Continental and International instruments on climate change, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and in this regard, commends all Member States which have already signed, ratified and are already implementing all existing regional and international climate change instruments, particularly, the Paris Agreement and appeals to those Member States, which have not yet done so, to also do the same without further delays;

10.  Express gratitude to all those partners and members of the international community, which are providing multifaceted support to local, national and regional efforts to build climate change resilience and appeals for their continued humanitarian assistance to the populations in Member States affected by the negative effects of climate change;

11. Underlines the need for continued and enhanced AU Commission capacity-building support to Member States in building national resilience and in addressing the adverse effects of climate change, and within the context of AU institutional reforms, requests the Chairperson of the Commission to consider elevating the Climate Change Unit into a full-fledged Division;

12. Encourages the Commission to continue mainstreaming climate change in all its activities particularly in early warning on potential/ looming climate change related security threats in the Continent;

13. Reiterates that climate-related displacement has become an acute problem which drives up local tension, as well as human trafficking and child exploitation; and in this regard, calls for the acceleration of the implementation of the Assembly decision 718 adopted during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly in 2019 which requested the Commission  to assure the protection, the census and the registration of refugees and IDPs and the protection of their camps against any form of militarization and to maintain their civilian character ;

14. Underscores the importance of fast tracking the implementation of the AU Climate Change and Resilience Development Strategy and Action Plan;

15. Requests the AU Commission to further strengthen policies that effectively address trans-boundary resources including pastoral lands, forests, wildlife, rivers and lake basins and to establish and inter-Departmental Climate Change Coordination Committee to enhance synergies across various programmes; 

16. Requests the AU Commission to expedite the finalization of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Study on the nexus between Climate Change, Peace and Security in the Continent pursuant to the Press Statement adopted at Council’s Open Session held on 21 May 2018 and to urgently submit it for consideration by Council;

17. Highlights the importance of a Common African Position on Climate Change and reiterates the need for mobilizing predictable and sustainable climate financing, including the establishment of an African Climate Fund;

18. Emphasizes the importance of further enhancing synergies of the African Climate Commissions through the convening of joint sessions of the three African Climate Commissions – (African Islands, Congo Basin and the Sahel); as well as the importance of expediting the implementation of the AU Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan;

19.Underscores the importance of the AU to continue to provide capacity building support to Member States and the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, in order for them to build the required resilience and to more effectively respond holistically and comprehensively to climate related security threats;

20. Expresses heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa for the loss of lives caused by the recent climate-change related floods in the Kwazulu-Natal province; and appeals for international assistance to be provided to South Africa in its recovery efforts;

21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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