Azerbaijan’s COP29 Focus on Peace and Climate Nexus Receives Praise at the UN Climate Conference
05 Jun 2024
Azerbaijan’s COP29 Focus on Peace and Climate Nexus Receives Praise at the UN Climate Conference

Today, Azerbaijan’s COP29 Presidency held an inter-sessional meeting at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany as part of inter-sessional meetings hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Global climate change poses a formidable challenge to international security, and this threat is mirrored across a number of sectors. Consequently, a pressing issue on the COP Agenda is how to pre-empt potential conflicts that may arise from food and water shortages stemming from climate change.

Presiding over the meeting, Elshad Iskandarov, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, noted that one of Azerbaijan’s priorities during its COP29 Presidency is to lend support to international peace and security. The Ambassador stated that, at the behest of the President of Azerbaijan, H.E. Ilham Aliyev, work is underway with international partners on the unprecedented COP Ceasefire Appeal a first in the history of climate conferences.

Mr. Iskandarov also highlighted the initiative put forward by President Aliyev, to establish a special support fund for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), nations particularly vulnerable to the threat posed by climate change. He remarked that an ever-increasing portion of the world’s population is grappling with both the impacts of climate change and conflicts, as more regions fall into the “particularly vulnerable” category.

Furthermore, Mr. Iskandarov underscored that, as the host of COP29, Azerbaijan’s objective is to ensure the provision of implementable strategies and tangible support for vulnerable peoples through the events organized under its chairmanship.

During his remarks, Daines McQueen, representing the COP28 Presidency, discussed the Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery, & Peace, which was adopted at last year’s COP in the UAE. He commended the COP29 Presidency’s proposal for a peace agenda within the COP process, expressing confidence that such efforts would yield tangible results.

Subsequently, Eliza Ozbek, Germany’s Climate Negotiator, and Adonia Ayebare, the Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN, emphasized the importance of international assistance for globally vulnerable populations. They underscored the need for pre-emptive measures to prevent future conflicts over access to clean water, air, and fertile land, which may arise due to climate change.

To this end, Germany and Uganda have taken the initiative to ensure that Parties discuss this topic at COP29 in Baku. Acknowledging Azerbaijan’s rich experience in strengthening international collaboration, they expressed their hope that Azerbaijan would support the initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the Bonn Contact Group for Peace and Climate, Mr Dennis Sammut, Director of the Netherland’s LINKS Europe Foundation, and Mr Benjamin Pohl, Head of Programme Climate Diplomacy and Security at Adelphi , reported that over 50 international NGOs have prepared a package of specific proposals regarding the damage caused by water scarcity, food security, and mine contamination to the ecosystem. These proposals will be presented for discussion at COP29.

Representatives from Brazil, the USA, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, and other member states who participated in the dialogue, expressed their gratitude to Azerbaijan for the attention paid to particularly vulnerable regions within the framework of COP29. They emphasized their hope that high-level discussions on the topic of Peace and Climate Change would be organised during COP29 and would yield concrete results.

At the event, which was also attended by many UN agencies and other international organizations, Special Envoy Iskenderov, who summarized the discussions, reiterated his gratitude for the high level of appreciation and trust placed in Azerbaijan’s COP29 Presidency. He stated that COP29 Presidency would support the topic of Peace and Climate Change and the specific initiatives put forward, and that this would result in increased international support for particularly vulnerable regions.

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