The Ministry of Green Economy and Environment in Zambia has announced that the Government of the Republic of Zambia will host the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) on climate change in Livingstone from 14th to 17th March 2022.
The AGN is a Group of Government representatives of the 54 African countries who spearhead the negotiations on climate change to ensure that the continent speaks with one voice during the negotiations.
Zambia is the current Chair of the Group. Zambia assumed the chairmanship at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021 for a two-year period and will lead the continental Group until 2023.
Therefore, the country has the responsibility to coordinate the Group and ensure that it is well prepared for all climate engagements, especially during the forthcoming 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022.
The Livingstone meeting is the first step towards these preparations. The main focus of this AGN meeting will be to review the outcome of COP-26 and start identifying Africa’s priorities for the forthcoming Conference in Egypt.
The meeting is largely a closed-door session, especially the first two days. However, the official opening on Wednesday 16th March, 2022 will be open to the media and other invited guests.
The Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Eng. Collins Nzovu, MP, and the Minister of Southern Province Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, MP, will officially open the meeting on Wednesday, 16th March, 2022.
The Government of the United Kingdom, as COP-26 President, and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as the incoming President of COP-27, and other speakers will deliver remarks at the official opening of the AGN meeting.
The AGN meeting will bring together experts from all 54 countries, organisations that partner with the AGN and other entities that work on climate change matters in Africa.
Some of the organisations to be represented at the meeting will include the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), among others.
To ensure that Zambia effectively carries out its chairmanship mandate, a team of local climate change experts has been put together to support the AGN chairperson, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, who is also Director for the Department of Green Economy and Climate Change in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.
Shitima will preside over the meeting in Livingstone and will be supported by this team of experts.
Further, the Government assembled a Local Organising Committee that is comprised of relevant Government Departments, representatives of civil society, and financial institutions, among others, to prepare for this meeting.
The Committee has undertaken various steps, especially to ensure that the meeting is held in adherence to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols. A dedicated Sub-Committee on health, chaired by the Ministry of Health, has undertaken inspections of the venue and other facilities in Livingstone to ensure that all precautionary measures are in place.
It is important that Zambia excellently carries out the chairmanship mandate for the benefit of the continent and contribute to the positive outcome at the COP27 in Egypt, which has been dubbed: the African COP.
The Ministry of Green Economy and Environment wishes to acknowledge and thank various partner organisations including UNEP, WWF Zambia, Stanbic Bank, ZANACO, ABSA Bank, the British High Commission and the Red Cross Society of Zambia, among others, for their logistical and material support.
“We urge Zambians, especially residents of Livingstone, to extend their usual warm reception to our guests from across the continent,” said the ministry.
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