Because of its geographic location, Mozambique, said José Condugua António Pacheco, “is considered by some scientists as the second most vulnerable country in the world to the effects of climate change”.
He delivered firsthand knowledge of this “powerful threat to our planet and to humanity” by recalling the aftermath of the “two extremely severe tropical cyclones” that devastated vast regions of the country earlier this year.
Cyclones Idai and Kenneth not only took 689 lives, but also destroyed “the economic and social fabric in the Central and Northern regions of our country”, he said, adding that the South continues to suffer from the effects of drought and last year’s Cyclone Dindo.
The Foreign Minister reiterated Mozambique’s gratitude to the UN for its multifaceted support and expressed solidarity with the victims of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas just weeks ago.
Noting that natural climate-driven disasters have become recurrent phenomena, Mr. Pacheco affirmed Mozambique’s commitment to strengthening adaptation and resilience measures under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Other actions Mozambique has undertaken include strengthening early warning systems and mapping vulnerable areas to prevent natural disasters and mitigate their effects.
With respect to rural development, biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources, the Foreign Minister said Mozambique created conservation areas covering approximately 25 per cent of its national territory.
“These actions are reinforced by the continued increase of the use of cleaner and renewable energy, based on natural gas, wind, solar, and hydropower, to provide ‘Energy for All’ to our citizens by 2030”, he maintained.
Complex development challenges
According to Foreign Minister Pacheco, “low income; reduced access to education, health, food, water and sanitation; and inadequate socio-economic infrastructures” are all obstacles hindering the development of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Moreover, the prevalence of actions linked to fundamentalism, violent extremism, arms proliferation “are causes of added concern”, he said.
The Foreign Minister noted that to “drive our eagerly desired sustainable development”, his country has incorporated the 2030 Agenda into its national governance programme, giving priority to agribusiness, economic and social infrastructure networks, expanded electric grid coverage and ecotourism.
Moreover, Mozambique is focusing on “protecting and respecting human rights, promoting gender equality and equity, as well as capacity development women, youth and other vulnerable social groups”, according Mr. Pacheco.
Turning to teh country’s peace agenda, the Foreign Minister lauded the successes of Mozambique’s internal dialogues, but cautioned that they were “shaded by bad actors” in the North who continue to raise concerns as they “spread death and destruction of the socio-economic fabric, and create instability in areas of that region”.
“The Government has vigorously carried out our constitutional duties to protect our citizens and their property, as well as economic and social infrastructures”, said Mr. Pacheco, adding that the fiscal and monetary reforms underway “have led to an effective recovery of our macroeconomic stability”.
He concluded by reaffirming Mozambique’s trust in the UN as “a privileged platform for multilateral coordination in the search for solutions to the common challenges facing humanity”.