DIPLOMACY ENVIRONMENT EVENTS

OIF Secretary-General Louise Mushikiwabo, in Bucharest: Francophonie cannot stay indifferent to climate change

Climate changes have an universal impact and Francophonie cannot stay indifferent to climate change, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo told the international conference called “Building resilience to natural disasters,” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, in the context in which Romania is holding the rotating Presidency at the Council of the European Union.

Louise Mushiwabo brought to mind at the conference organised at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest that our country already saw the effects caused by natural disasters and gave as examples thedevastating floods and the hot summers, which are all phenomena associated with climate change, which also affect his country. He said that such phenomena affected numerous Francophone countries, including his country, Rwanda, which used to have a predictable climate, stable, and in the past years was hit by numerous natural catastrophes that have to do with climate change.

The OIF Secretary-General pointed out that the desertification phenomenon is another effect ofanthropic climate changes and drew attention to the need of adopting urgent measures to limit the increase of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius against the pre-industrial era, which objective was included in the action plan of the Paris Agreement. Desertification, which is naturally associate with northern Africa, started to cover other regions, including the south of Romania, she said. The same as all the other countries in the Francophone area and in the entire world, she continued, which could face a disastrous impact, as the inter-governmental group drew attention to climate changes (IPCC), in its report of October 2018.

Mushikiwabo brought to mind that 18 of 33 countries on the red list of countries that are most exposed to natural catastrophes, according to the Institute for Human Security and the Environment are members of the organisation, of La Fracophonie.

Not just the developed countries in the Francophone area are affected by climate changes but also the developing island states, specified the official, who hailed the presence in Bucharest on the occasion of the international conference of some representatives of these countries, such as Vanuatu, Dominica or Burkina Faso.

Climate change represents a challenge in what concerns human rights and good governing too, and in order to attack both its causes and effects, we need a coordinated efforts based on experience and expertise, one of our organisation’s reasons to be, Louise Mushikiwabo stated.

The OIF Secretary-General also gave assurance while being in Bucharest that Francophonie, in all its diversity, gets mobilized for a better prevention of theses catastrophes and for searching the best and coordinated answer to strengthen the reaction to natural disasters.

 

Melescanu: Romania can become powerful advocate in UN Security Council in fight against climate change

 

Romania will become a powerful advocate for a more prominent role in the Security Council in the fight against climate change, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu also said on Tuesday.

“Romania is traditionally a country engaged in effective multilateralism with the UN, (…) and has applied for a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council at the elections to be held in June. If elected, Romania will become a powerful advocate for a more prominent role in the Security Council in the fight against climate change in an integrated manner, and we will assume responsibilities in the efforts aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the Council in this area,” Melescanu said on Tuesday, in the opening of the international conference “Strengthening resilience to natural disasters”, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, in the context of Romania’s holding of the mandate of Presidency of the Council of the European Union, attended by representatives of the United Nations, from World Bank and the International Organization of the Francophonie.

“The question is, are we doing enough to prevent these irreversible and catastrophic climate-induced disturbances? I am convinced that we should bear this responsibility together and fight the causes of this phenomenon, whether we are big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, on an island or in a country surrounded by other countries and without exit to the sea, that we have more or less influence, we should all be having this fight and engaging in the fight against these phenomena going beyond the good intentions and emotional speeches. The fight against global threats requires us to demonstrate a strong political will, to be conscious, both internally and multilaterally, given that a collective effort is needed. (… ) We have to listen to more voices that promote the multilateral framework and the rule-based international order, because this is the way to effectively fight against global changes,” Melescanu stressed.

The Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that the United Nations should play an important role.

“When uttering the United Nations, I am actually thinking of a revitalized multilateral system that is capable of overcoming the current issues and nationalist pressures, the marginalization of some important segments of the population and the geopolitical instability. From our point of view, the Paris Agreement creates a multilateral framework essential for the management of global actions against climate change. We are confident that this agreement allows us all to contain the energy so as to fast-track the fight against climate change. The EU is also working on a long-term, ambitious strategy that should be sent to the specialized forums by 2020 and which complies with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. (…) In view of this partnership, the EU and its Member States reaffirm their commitment to continue their widespread efforts to mobilize international funds against climate change,” said Melescanu.

 

ForMin Melescanu: We hope to expand Francophone community in Western Balkans

 

Romania hopes that along with the developments in the Western Balkans, the Francophone community will be able to expand in this area as well, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Tuesday at the meeting with Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), Louise Mushikiwabo.

“We have talked about Francophonie in Romania and about the real attachment of Romanians to French and the values of culture and civilization, which have as a vector the French language. We also discussed the role of Romania’s Franchophonie port-parole in our region. We have also approached specific aspects of our region where the Francophonie is certainly a free, not an imposed choice. We greatly hope, with the developments in the Western Balkans, to grow the Francophone community in this area,” Teodor Melescanu told a press conference at the Palace of Parliament, held alongside the Secretary General of the OIF.

Melescanu also referred to Romania’s contribution to Francophonie, to ‘Eugen Ionescu’ scholarships, the Romania-France cultural season, which includes a very important francophone component, to the Romanian diplomats who run the Group of Francophone Ambassadors in New York, Brussels, Geneva and in other major capitals on the world’s meridians.

“We have mentioned that Romania is the first in the European Union from the point of view of the bilingual school and university branches with a French-speaking component. We reminded that the only Francophonie Square in Central Europe exists in Bucharest,” Melescanu said.

“Last but not least, we consulted on the anniversaries in the year 2020 when the institutionalized Francophonie celebrates 50 years since its creation,” added Melescanu.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy reminded, in context, that Romania will host the international conference of the Francophonie ministers for higher education in Bucharest in June.

On Tuesday, Teodor Melescanu attended the opening session of the conference “Strengthening resilience to natural disasters”, which took  at the Parliament Palace, under the aegis of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, alongside the OIF Secretary General.

 

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