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Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we gather at the 28th annual climate conference, and this historic inaugural Global Stocktake, our region in the greater Horn of Africa is among those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

After weathering 6 consecutive failed rainy seasons from 2020 to 2023, and the worst drought in 40 years we are now forced to face the flooding from the relentless force of the torrential rains of El Niño leaving devastation in its wake.

Within 6 months, we moved from too little water to too much. Both of these conditions create famine for our people.

While our region contributes less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, we bear an outsized burden of climate-related disasters.

Today, I carry the voices of 300 million citizens of the IGAD region, calling for a resolute effort to forge consensus on concrete actions on the Paris Agreement Global Goals on Adaptation.

Loss and damage are not abstract concepts but a day-to-day reality for us all in the IGAD region. We congratulate the COP28 presidency for pushing this agenda and adopting the fund. The urgency of operationalizing the fund to support vulnerable nations cannot be overstated.

The recent 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC (AR6) serves as a stark warning: We are not meeting our target of limiting global emissions to 1.5 degrees. We must renew our commitment to ambitious climate action, grounded in the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

In the IGAD region, we are responsible global citizens, actively contributing to combatting greenhouse gas emissions, as evidenced in our submissions of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the COP process. Yet, climate adaptation remains our paramount concern.

Despite concerted efforts at the national and sub- national levels, transboundary risks threaten peace and security in the IGAD region, compelling us to establish a regional framework to guide our unified response to the climate threat.

As part of our commitment to accelerate climate action, aligned with the Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace, I am delighted to unveil the IGAD Regional Climate Adaptation Strategy 2023-2030, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

This regional framework, launched during this meeting, embodies the aspirations of the IGAD region and serves as our collective commitment to implement adaptation solutions that put people first.

The Climate Adaptation Strategy (2023 – 2030) has been embraced and adopted by all member states within our esteemed IGAD community, a testament to the unity, solidarity and resolve of our region.

As we face one climate crisis after another, we implore the global community for a holistic commitment encompassing increased adaptation finance, a shift in the prevailing approach to climate financing, innovative partnerships, knowledge sharing, technology transfer, and collaborative research.

In conclusion, accept our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support. Let us transform these deliberations into a resounding call to action. Together, we possess the power to redefine our future.

It is our duty to ensure that the world witnesses our unwavering resolve to sustainably utilise our wealth of natural resources, secure the health of our planet and the prosperity of all its inhabitants. The journey begins here, and it begins now.

Thank you.

Download the attached Speech in PDF below

IGAD ES Statement – IGAD COP28 Launch of Climate Adaptation Strategy 03.12.2023IGAD ES Statement – IGAD COP28 Launch of Climate Adaptation Strategy 03.12.2023

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