Africa Pavilion Inaugurated to amplify COP21 at Le Bourget, France

Africa Pavilion Inaugurated to amplify COP21

Paris, 1 December 2015 (ClimDev-Africa) - "Africa, came to amplify and light up COP21. It is the continent of the future, it is the continent of opportunities." Through this statement, Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin set the tone on the Africa day high level opening of the Africa pavilion. According to President Yayi, "Africa needs to stop looking elsewhere and it must act to transform challenges into opportunities." He noted that world leaders have gathered in Paris to negotiate with the hope of "coming out with a new climate governance framework for the world - a new legal instrument and an equitable result."

With the momentum and successes arising from the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and given the fundamental importance of climate change on development and finance "it is out of question that the COP21 is a failure," stressed President Yayi.

He called on the African negotiators to speak with one voice and work tirelessly to ensure that the new climate agreement results in a fair deal for Africa.

The Pavilion was created to serve as a platform for the coordination of events, interests and stakeholders as a framework for exchange and fusion of ideas on climate change and its impact on the continent. More importantly according President Yayi, the Pavilion is a symbol of the unity of Africa speaking with one voice on issues of common interest.

He appealed for an agreement that complies with Article 2 of the UNFCCC, on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; Compliance with Article 3 of the Convention regarding the basic principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities; The precautionary principle and the right to sustainable development; Raising the "polluter pays principle" and a balanced emphasis on adaptation and mitigation; The operationalization of concrete measures to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, and ways of implementation covering finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

For his part, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Executive Secretary of NEPAD Agency said that the time has come for action and that Africa needs more than ever, "to work together to be stronger, more pragmatic and concrete."

He also stressed the need to  industrialize to realize the Agenda 2063, stressing that the growth of the industrial sector will create jobs, promote diversification, upgrade local technological capabilities and improve knowledge and information flows. These, said Mayaki, constitute critical factors for the Continent's radical transformation. Recalling the role of the organization he heads in supporting development in Africa, Mr. Mayaki concluded that whatever the outcome of the COP21, Africa needs to continue working, and NEPAD will continue to play its role.


Issued by:
ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section