Launch of the consultations on a potential initiative on climate change and sustaining peace under the Egyptian COP27 presidency

September 21, 2022


The Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, hosted the first set of technical consultations to discuss elements of a new potential initiative on Climate Responses for Sustaining Peace (CRSP) on 14 September 2022.  The initiative will be considered for launch under the Egyptian Presidency of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP27) to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh in November.

Representatives from international and regional organizations as well as international financial and development institutions participated in the meeting, including Ms. Elena Panova, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt and Mr. Sylvain Merlen, Deputy Representative of UNDP Egypt.  The African Union Commission, in addition to experts from the relevant Egyptian ministries and research centers also attended.

Ambassador Ayman Tharwat, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate, Environment and Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided an overview of the priorities of the Egyptian COP Presidency for the Sharm el-Sheikh conference as well as the various initiatives put forward by the Presidency.  He highlighted the importance of this initiative, stating that this would be the first time this topic is included as one of the Presidency’s initiatives at a climate change conference.

Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif, Director-General of CCCPA described the objectives of the initiative and its main pillars which draw on the conclusions of the third edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development held on 21-22 June, as well on deliberations in other relevant forums. The initiative comes in the context of Egypt's leading role in advancing international cooperation to address climate change on the one hand and in strengthening and building peace internationally and regionally on the other.

Ms. Elena Panova highlighted that many countries that are affected by conflict are also very vulnerable to climate change. She emphasized the UN system is well-placed to support the knowledge agenda on the linkages between climate change and sustaining peace,leveraging the convening role of the UN to bring different actors, including civil society, to the table.  

Mr. Sylvain Merlen reiterated that since climate change predictably strains natural resources and increases competition, sustaining peace requires reaffirmed conflict resolution mechanisms, information flows and awareness. He stated that the consultations on the potential CRSP initiative were timely and of great importance to UNDP, who is very pleased to collaborate with CCCPA on moving it forward.

On their part, participants welcomed the initiative and emphasized the importance of its groundbreaking nature in terms of addressing the impacts of climate change on efforts to achieve peace and stability, especially in Africa. In this context, they expressed their appreciation for Egypt's keenness to take this issue forward and their readiness to contribute to its implementation on the ground.

The CRSP initiative focuses on the African continent as it is the most impacted by the consequences of climate change, while contributing the least to this phenomenon.  Concurrently, Africa is the continent witnessing the greatest number of armed conflicts and the focus of most peacebuilding efforts. In this regard, the initiative aims to implement a range of programs and activities in various areas, including within four pillars, namely: (A) Advancing the Climate Adaptation and Peacebuilding Nexus; (B) Building Peace through Climate-Resilient Food Systems; (C) Accelerating Climate Finance for Sustaining Peace in Africa; (D) Advancing Durable Solutions to Climate-Displacement Nexus.