The United Nations Team in Zimbabwe has oiled the machinery to galvanise climate action in the country as espoused at the just ended 74th Session of the UN General Assembly that spotlighted climate action to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
These were the remarks of the UN Resident Coordinator to Zimbabwe, Ms. Maria Ribeiro at the Launch of UN Week Exhibition and Panel Discussion on Climate held at the National Art Gallery in Harare on 21 October 2019.
“While asking the leaders, from government, business, civil society, and youth to address the global climate emergency the UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres said, “climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it with unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.”
“In line with the Secretary General’s impassioned call to boost climate action and the expressed commitment of Zimbabwe, the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe has dedicated the 74th anniversary of the United Nations to highlight climate related challenges, partnerships and progress in the country,” Ms. Ribeiro said.
Zimbabwe has been grappling with recurrent droughts and flooding as well as resultant disease outbreaks. This year alone, some 44% or 5.7 million Zimbabweans are affected by climate shocks namely a severe drought and Cyclone Idai.
Equally important, Ms Riberio said, the focus on climate action can serve as a reminder that Zimbabwe has golden opportunity to leapfrog to new green-economy as its ongoing economic, social and political reform unfolds.
At the recent UN General Assembly over 100 business leaders delivered concrete actions to align with the Paris Agreement targets and speed up the transition from the grey to green economy. Zimbabwe with support from the United Nations and other partners, was urged to tap into this commitment by attracting green direct investment.
The exhibition is meant to raise awareness on the urgency for climate action. The UN exhibition, information stands mounted at the National Gallery, and the planned series of panel discussions featuring policy makers, experts and young people will foster action and partnership for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in general and climate action.
“There is no alternative and shortcut to prosperity other than building brick-by-brick resilient and risk informed institutions for executing economic, social and environmental programmes.
“In this regard, I would like to underline the continued commitment of the United Nations in the ongoing humanitarian responses to drought affected population and communities affected by Cyclone Idai as well as people affected by prevailing economic hardships. In addition, the United Nations remains steadfast to support national capacities to disaster risk reduction and Zimbabwe’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” Ms. Ribeiro added.
Sekai Nzenza, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare officially opened the UN Week exhibition and panel discussion mounted to mark the 74th anniversary of the UN.