Speech by Prof. Costas Kadis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, at the Ministerial Meeting for the Climate Change Initiative in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME)
I would like to welcome you all and thank you for being here, at the ministerial meeting on Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. I know how busy each one of you is and we are truly grateful that you were able to travel to Cyprus and join this meeting. I would also like to thank those of you who could not be physically with us, but are participating online.
Let me just remind you of the context in which our meeting takes place. The Cyprus Initiative on Climate Change was announced three years ago by HE the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Nicos Anastasiades. Its aim is to develop a regional action plan with policies and measures that target the specific challenges of our region relating to climate change. What makes this initiative very special, is that it brings together governments, scientists and policymakers.
The first years of the initiative have been devoted to the scientific work carried out by 240 distinguished scientists, coming mostly from our region but also from organisations around the world. This scientific work has confirmed that our region will experience Climate Change more intensely and sooner than other regions of the world. This is precisely why scientists have classified the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East as a climate crisis hotspot.
The comprehensive reports provided by the 240 scientists who voluntarily participated in the 13 scientific task forces, also provided us concrete policy recommendations to pursue; recommendations of certified validity, soundness and effectiveness.
At the Ministerial meeting we held last February, we all expressed our concern regarding the severity and urgency of the situation we face. One of our main decisions was to develop a Regional Action Plan, with policies and measures designed to mitigate the negative effects of Climate Change in the most effective way.
It was also agreed to establish an interim Secretariat for our Initiative, which will facilitate the next steps of our work. The Cyprus Institute was assigned with setting up and operating the Interim Secretariat and I would like to thank them for working diligently to successfully accomplish this task.
As promised, the recommendations and proposals for advancing the governance, monitoring and financing of the Initiative were shared with you in May.
Today we will hear more about the Regional Action Plan and the Governance, Monitoring and Financing of the Initiative. During our last session today, we shall have the opportunity to state our priorities and concerns; I am confident that the observers we have invited and who are honoring us with their presence today, will share their recommendations on enhancing the impact of our regional Initiative with their cooperation and support.
It is of utmost importance that we take today’s opportunity to identify those areas we are mostly concerned about, set our priorities, and finalize our plan. A strong governance, accompanied by clear monitoring and financing mechanisms will ensure that our Initiative will benefit each and every country, and also our region.
H.E. the President of the Cyprus Republic Mr Nicos Anastasiades has invited the Heads of the EMME States to participate in the Summit meeting, which will be held on the 25th of October 2022. I also invite you to work together for developing our Regional Climate Action Plan during the coming months leading to the Summit so that we begin seeing tangible results.
Our countries have all committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. This Initiative will provide us with access to the expertise, the knowledge, the support and coordination we need to meet the goals we have set for us and the future generations.
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