By Dr Tamara Wood, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW 30 November 2021…
27-29 July 2021 – the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) held an online Regional Dialogue for Africa & Middle East, bringing together experts and government officials in the region to discuss ways to improve regional and international responses to climate change. The three-day event resulted in the publication of the 2021 CVF Africa & Middle East Regional Communique.
The CVF’s Africa and Middle East Regional Dialogue was the second in a series of policy activities leading up to COP26 in Glasgow. Complementing regional dialogues taking place in Latin America/the Caribbean, the Pacific and Asia, the recommendations will inform a global Senior Officials meeting to be held in October 2021. That meeting will formulate a “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration of the CVF” for adoption at the next CVF High-Level Meeting at COP26.
The Regional Dialogue was co-hosted by Ethiopia as CVF Troika member for the region, and Bangladesh as Chair of the CVF. Day 1 was given over to an expert meeting, to prepare a draft communique ahead of the ministerial segment on day 3. In between the two sessions, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) held a half-day workshop for member and observer officials on relevant policy issues.
The aim of the Africa & the Middle East Regional Dialogue was to identify and promote headline climate change policy priorities for vulnerable developing countries of the region ahead of critical multilateral global policy events in 2021. In the words of the CVF:
As vulnerable nations, we are faced with an unprecedented dual crisis of climate change alongside the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the platform of the CVF, we believe a strong and effective collaboration of the most climate threatened nations can be forged and serve to promote more robust, equitable and responsive action by the international community, as well as enhanced finance and technology support for our own national efforts to overcome climate change related challenges.
A number of PDD Steering Group members were represented among the twenty-five participating governments, including Bangladesh, Madagascar, Morocco and Senegal. The Envoy of the Chair, Prof. Walter Kaelin, was invited to take the floor during the ministerial segment. He stressed the importance of a number of key policy priorities, including: recognising displacement as a current issue; incorporating displacement risk assessments and preparedness into adaptation planning and policies; ambitious climate finance; and integrating and mainstreaming displacement and migration considerations into all aspects of climate action.
The Regional Communique that followed the Dialogue set out twelve recommended priority areas for CVF Member States. One of the twelve policy priorities of the Communique is ‘Displacement & Migration’, reflecting the importance that the CVF places on addressing displacement and mobility in the context of climate change.
WATCH - CVF Africa and Middle East Regional Dialogue - Ministerial Meeting
Learn more about PDD’s work in our Workplan 2019-2022: