Lungu Calls For Global Efforts to Combat Climate Change
President Edgar Lungu has said the devastating effects of climate change are frustrating efforts to raise the standards of living for the world’s poor and has called for concerted global collaborative efforts to formulate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
President Lungu said Zambia has not been spared by the effects of climate change, which has seen half the country suffer from severe drought while neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe had experienced opposite climatic extremes of cyclones.
Addressing the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74) in New York on Wednesday, President Lungu said as a result of the drought, Zambia had experienced low crop productivity and low water levels for hydro-electricity generation.
The Head of State, according to first secretary press at the Zambian mission in New York Wallen Simwaka, informed U.N Member States that as a consequence of effects of climate change, Zambia had started scaling up its efforts to diversify energy production while prioritising the adaptive capacity of communities to reduce their vulnerability and build resilience against extreme weather events.
President Lungu observed that scaling up global efforts in addressing climate change should invariably include increased accessibility to financial support, particularly to countries with limited resources to enable them bear the general climate-change-induced cost burdens.
“Scientists have spoken and we have seen the devastating impact that climate change has had on our environment. Early this year, three of Zambia’s neighbouring countries, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were affected by cyclone. Not far away, half of Zambia experienced a severe drought which has resulted in low crop productivity and low water levels for hydro-electricity generation. Thus, opposite climatic extremes are occurring within the same neighbourhood,” President Lungu said.
He explained that there is need to secure and promote the wildlife flora and fauna because of their ecological and socio-economic benefits which are an environmental good for humanity.
President Lungu said Zambia appreciated the hosting of the Elephant Summit in Kasane in Botswana in April this year, which was followed up with the Africa’s Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe.
He announced that Zambia is scheduled to host the Africa’s Wildlife Economy Summit in 2020 as a follow-up to the summit held in Zimbabwe and called upon international collaborators to work with regional countries in order to achieve successful outcomes for the region’s wildlife.
And President Lungu has said most African countries could not attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because of various challenges, which included inadequate financial resources. The Head of State has cautioned that unless Africa devises more innovative ways of addressing its development challenges, there is the danger that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would not be attained.
Lungu informed the United Nations that a Sustainable Development Goals Sub-Regional Centre for Southern Africa has been established and domiciled in Zambia’s Lusaka which will be a vehicle for facilitating engagements between governments and other stakeholders to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
On the role Zambia has been playing in promoting peace and security, President Lungu said the country was until last month the chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security because it understood that economic development would not be possible in the absence of peace, security and the rule of law.
He said Zambia contributed to the regional mechanism on conflict prevention and peace building efforts and that the country had hosted a SADC regional awareness meeting on the implementation of a UN resolution 1540 of 2004 meant to prevent proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has observed that the spectre of international terrorism has in recent times assumed a dangerous momentum and called on the international communities to protect human life and continue to seriously address the vice.
“There is no doubt that the United Nations continues to remain the only multilateral institution capable of addressing the challenges of our one world. The world looks up to this body to encourage dialogue among civilisations on all global challenges in an inclusive manner, offering the only practical way to ensure meaningful and effective international cooperation. To be effective and efficient, there is need to reform the United Nations, particularly as we will, over the coming year, commemorate its 75 years of existence, and reflect on its future. Time has come for the Security Council to be representative, democratic and accountable to all member states, irrespective of status. This is essential for its integrity as the custodian of international peace,” said President Lungu.