President Ramkalawan delivers statement before the G77 and China Leaders’ Summit |04 December 2023
Need for island states to access concessionary funding stressed
President Wavel Ramkalawan has reiterated his plea for all multilateral and international financial organisations under the control of the west to change their financing mechanisms to allow all island states to have access to concessionary funding.
President Ramkalawan made the call in a statement as part of the G77 and China Leaders’ Summit, General Debate segment, on the margins of the 28th Session of the United Nations Conference of Parties, currently taking place in Dubai.
The G77 plus China Summit in Dubai presented a platform for the G77 plus China member states to discuss the pertinent climate action agenda acknowledging the seriousness of the climate change crisis especially for developing countries.
In his intervention, President Ramkalawan expressed appreciation to the government of Cuba as a fellow island nation and Chair of Group for convening that timely and important summit while recognising that COP28 is a moment for both Accountability and Action.
“We, as Leaders, must be prepared to make bold commitments and crucial decisions for the protection of our planet. The benchmarks for a strong outcome at this COP largely centre on the engagement taken by everyone in keeping the promises that are made. In the Global stocktake, countries must demonstrate how they are delivering on their past pledges and showcase their stronger national climate plans for the years to come.
“The time for rhetoric and posturing is over. For this COP28 to be a success, governments and others must be prepared to take definitive actions that benefit people, nature, and the climate.”
He acknowledged that despite the lack of action to meet the goals set out in the COP21 Paris Agreement, some important progress had been made such as the recent operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund. However, he also reminded the summit that globally, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. He stressed on the need for the world to change course and transition to a low-carbon global economy in the building of a more resilient planet.
“Seychelles acknowledges that the Paris Agreement has spurred unprecedented global climate action since it entered into force. We have benefitted from the universal submission and enhancement of our NDC. Although a drastic and an uneven increase in adaptation, planning and implementation, as well as the mobilisation of Climate finance this has begun to spur mitigation actions and reach frontline coastal communities enduring the increasing impacts of climate change. Nevertheless, we know that our efforts at international cooperation in support of climate action are insufficient, and so is the finance,” said President Ramkalawan.
President Ramkalawan reiterated the urgent call to increase access to concessionary funding by vulnerable countries like Seychelles required in order to achieve targets in its NDCs.
“Developed countries must fulfill their promises and provide necessary financing to vulnerable countries. I call on my fellow SIDS (small island developing states) to come together as one in addressing access to concessionary funding. Islands, whether labeled high-income or low-income, suffer the same fate. We are in the middle of the ocean, we cannot drive next door to get our commodities, meaning that with all world calamities we are the first to be hit. The rising cost of fuel translated into exorbitant sea transportation costs means that we are the most vulnerable to suffer the increase in cost of commodities and therefore the cost of living for our people. Ocean events that happen miles from our shores eventually reach our coastlines and cause much destruction, including to the very livelihood of our people.
“My plea is for all multilateral and international financial organisations under the control of the west to change their financing mechanisms to allow islands to have access to such funding. Now that the Loss and Damage Fund has been operationalised, may all island states have access to this environment fund. Seychelles, as a member of the G77 plus China stands committed as a partner in defending the resolutions of our organisation. Together we will strive to protect our planet and keep the 1.5-degree Celsius aspiration alive,” said President Ramkalawan.
The Group of 77 (G77) plus China was established on June 15, 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signing the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
Besides his intervention at the G77 and China Leaders’ Summit, General Debate segment, President Ramkalawan, in his capacity as chair of the African Island States Climate Commission (AISCC), also delivered a statement at the African Union (AU) High-Level side event on Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System, held at the African Pavilion, Expo City in Dubai.
During this segment, the President further reiterated the need for the African continent to unite and urged major emitters to develop more ambitious strategies and plans to ensure that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is achieved.
“As the President of the African Island States Climate Commission (AISCC), I would like to draw attention, once again, to the adverse impacts of the climate crisis on all African coastal nations. This crisis has far-reaching consequences on the sustainability of our island nations. Africa, despite being one of the least contributors to climate change, bears a disproportionate burden of its effects. Therefore, it is crucial to urge major emitters to develop more ambitious strategies and plans to ensure that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is achieved. We must keep 1.5 degrees alive at this COP,” said President Ramkalawan.
The President also paid a visit to the Seychelles Pavilion being showcased as part of COP28 at Expo City in Dubai. During his tour he had the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the Seychellois participating in the conference.
During the course of the day President Ramkalawan also had the opportunity to interact with various world leaders and personalities attending the various COP28 events in Dubai. In the evening he joined leaders of the UAE in the celebration of the UAE’s 52nd National Day celebrations.
Press release from State House