31 January 2016

Egypt: African Union Summit Adopts Egyptian Initiatives On Climate Change

Cairo — African leaders unanimously approved on Sunday two initiatives proposed by Egypt on climate change in the continent, during the African Union summit held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Egyptian state-run news agency MENA reported.

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi set off Friday to the Ethiopian capital to attend the summit.

He is the Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

The president presented a report on Sunday in the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union outlining the outcomes of the UN Climate Conference (COP21) that took place late 2015 in Paris, where Egypt assumed the role of negotiator on behalf of the African continent.

Sisi's presentation featured two initiatives relating to the use of renewable energy in Africa, the diversification of sources of funding that African countries need to cope with climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, MENA added.

He called for adopting a "unified African stance" toward challenges resulting from climate change.

The 26th AU Summit is also addressing issues related to governments, elections, upholding constitutional principles as well as AU funding. Combating terrorism is also be on the summit's agenda.

Egypt had secured a three-year membership at the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union on Thursday, assuming one of the two seats allocated for North Africa, and is expected to take up office on April 1.

Egypt's participation at AU activities comes after a nearly year-long hiatus which started in mid-2013, when Egypt was suspended by the PSC.

On July 5, 2013, just two days after the military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi, following mass protests against his rule, the PSC decided to suspend "the participation of Egypt in the AU's activities until the restoration of constitutional order."

The council said Mursi's overthrow "falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of Government."

The suspension was lifted in June 2014, just weeks after Sisi made a sweeping victory in presidential elections, reaping more than 96 per cent of the votes.


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