Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday challenged the Commonwealth to take a leading role in building a sustainable future, by advocating for and mobilising more resources to finance climate change programmes and resilience actions in member countries.
Nyusi laid down this challenge during a high level Commonwealth roundtable dialogue about climate change, held virtually, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in June and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) scheduled to be held in November.
Addressing the virtual meeting, which brought together Heads of State of the 54 member countries, Nyusi said the Commonwealth cannot afford to watch passively unfolding developments in the face of environmental and Covid-19 challenges.
"Something has to be done by each member country and the Commonwealth as a collective body, otherwise we risk being irrelevant," said the President, who also challenged the body to make a difference by acting as a collective to mobilise more resources to access Covid-19 vaccines by all and to call for the cancelation or rescheduling of the debts of the most vulnerable countries.
Outlining the challenges for the country, Nyusi pointed out that Mozambique, being a coastal nation, is prone to extreme weather events generated by climate change and has also been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country's leadership, he said, has been promoting sustainable green development through focusing on agriculture to expand food production and productivity, with the end target of attaining zero hunger.
Nyusi also stressed the importance of the protection and sustainable exploitation of forestry and other natural resources, investment in clean energy (solar, wind, hydropower and natural gas as a transition from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy) and water management projects through the construction of dams for irrigation and to cope with floods and drought.