The Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama is presently representing President Muhammadu Buhari in the Meetting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC).
The Meeting with the theme-Sustainable Peace for Africa is being held virtually.
The meeting which is being convexe by the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta will be focussing on the sustainability of peace in Africa and climate change.
Read the speech below.
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN UNION PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL AU-PSC ON SECURING SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN AFRICA
Excellency President of the Republic of Kenya and Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council, Uhuru KENYATTA, Excellency, Chairman of the AU Assembly and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix TSHISEKEDI, Excellencies, distinguished members of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC)}, Excellencies, members of the African Union Troika, Chairperson of the AU Commission, other senior officials of the African Union and the United Nations, here present. | bring you the warm and fraternal greetings of His Excellency President Muhammad Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He asked me to convey his sincere regrets for his unavoidable absence.
2. We commend the delegation of the Republic of Kenya, particularly, President Uhuru KENYATTA, for convening this very important meeting. How you have steered our meeting today is also worthy of commendation. Nigeria also commends the briefers and all that have spoken before us.
3. Indeed, the need to secure sustainable peace in Africa cannot be overemphasized. Paramount to sustainable peace is sustainable development and vice versa. Notwithstanding this realization, however, Climate Change has continued to retard development across the board, with dwindling opportunities for sustainable peace. Undoubtedly, the subject of Climate Change, vis-a-vis its effect on sustainable peace, has continued to dominate public space and discourse in recent years, given its ravaging impact in our world today. The effects are widely noticeable as it increasingly extends beyond the environmental sphere into the social, political and security realm.
4, While Climate Change is not often considered the primary cause of conflict, its complexities have demonstrated that it could easily act as a “risk multiplier, exacerbating underlying vulnerabilities and compounding existing grievances. You may no doubt recall, Excellencies, a recent statement by the United Nations Secretary-General, His Excellency, Antonio GUTERRES while addressing the UN Security Council, when he stressed and | quote: “Where Climate Change dries up rivers, reduces harvests, destroys critical infrastructure, and displaces communities, it exacerbates the risks of instability and conflict”.
5. Across the world today, Climate Change has contributed to rising insurgency and armed conflict, partly in response to emerging challenges, with a resultant displacement of persons and livelihood. The situation in the Lake Chad Basin is a notable example of the risk and effects associated with Climate Change. This Council may recall that following climate disruption in the region, with its socio-economic and security effects on the people, the Governments of the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) countries convened in Nigeria and issued the Abuja Declaration to raise global awareness of the dramatic shrinkage of Lake Chad and the impact on sustainable livelihoods, security and development efforts in the region.
6. While we must continue to highlight the challenges of the debilitating effects, particularly the pervasive adverse effects of Climate Change on lives, it is also more important to ensure that bold initiatives are mapped out to broadly mitigate such effects. Our successes in this realm will ensure that succeeding generations of Africans are bequeathed the right legacy in the African space. It is for this reason that Nigeria urges this meeting to renew calls for concerted action towards addressing the causes and effects of climate change in the world especially on the continent of Africa.
7. In this regard, the recharging of Lake Chad has become imperative, as this would contribute to addressing the root causes of conflict and insecurity in the region. One way of achieving this is by channelling the waters from the Congo Basin, in addition to other noble initiatives in this regard. It is only when Climate Change and its adverse effects on Africa is addressed that we can truly hope to achieve sustainable peace and development on our continent.