Statement of Samuel Rizk, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan on Gender Climate Award 2024

May 23, 2024

Distinguished Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, Ambassador Nicolas Galey (France), Ambassador Dr. Riina Kionka (EU), Deputy Head of Mission  Mr. Mohammed Al-Kaitoob (UAE), Ms. Aisha Khan, 


Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I wish to congratulate the winners of the Climate Action, Green Enterprise, and Young Climate Journalism Awards. These awards highlight the remarkable strides made in addressing climate change, promoting sustainable business practices, and empowering youth to speak up and amplify vital environmental messages and stories. 

Climate change is a reality all around us, and there are few places in which this is more apparent than in Pakistan, a country which routinely finds itself at the receiving end of climate induced disasters while contributing little to greenhouse gas emissions, and a disproportionate modest appetite for large risk management, adaptation and mitigation investments.


When calamities happen, it hits the most vulnerable first – this appears to be an accepted fact. In many cases, women are disproportionately represented in that group: they lose their home, their livelihoods, or simple things like their ID. With Pakistan ranking particularly low on gender equality, addressing climate change and gender equality are both equally urgent matters. We’ve committed to doing this in our country programme 2023-2027.


That’s why/or where climate adaptation and gender equality go hand in hand.  To truly prosper, a country needs an economy where women are equal partners in economic access, opportunity and outlook. Today’s winners exemplify this vision in Pakistan, and show that these barriers can and will be broken down.

I would like to express my thanks to the Embassy of France and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union Delegation, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) for their partnership in creating this award and to create more opportunities for women and gender sensitive climate solutions.


The initiatives awarded today, ranging from sustainable tourism, to green energy for rural communities, to journalism highlight the potential for transformation in the way we approach climate change in Pakistan. They show the enormous national drive to recognize and reward innovation. UNDP is proud to accompany this journey where women turn dreams into action, at the start of their professional journey or at the pinnacle of their career, proving that increased gender equality and adaptation to climate change can indeed go hand in hand.  Congratulations Qandeel, Umbreen, and Khalida. 

Thank you.