New York, September 21st, 2023 - The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed that, the decision to establish an Independent Secretariat for Climate Vulnerable Forum and the V20 Group of Finance Ministers was a giant step towards achieving climate prosperity objectives.
The Minister, who is the Chair of the V20, (Finance Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum), made these remarks at a high-level leader’s meeting during the 2023 United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was under the theme “Advancing Climate Prosperity, Building a Resilient Global Financial Architecture for the Climate Vulnerable’’.
The establishment of an independent Secretariat, the Minister said, would ensure that the coalition has a legal form that would facilitate the mobilisation of more resources to support member states in the development and implementation of their climate prosperity goals.
He added that, it would also ensure the provision of policy guidance, facilitation of access to financial resources for adaptation and loss and damage, build the capacity of member states, and empower them to effectively navigate challenges posed by climate change.
‘’Like all grand endeavours, if we are to become more effective and reach our full potential, our growing initiatives will need a structured coherent organization with a crystal-clear mandate and the clarity of a forward-looking vision,’’ he said.
According to him, the combined voice of the 68 Member States of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, representing over 1.7 billion people, is not just impressive in number but powerful in intent to drive and realize deeper global transformation.
Mr. Ofori-Atta was optimistic that the membership of the Forum would increase from 68 to 100 countries by the end of COP 28, to represent about 30 percent of the world’s population.
The Minister further noted that, the approach to establish an independent Secretariat for the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the V20 Finance Ministers was a milestone and described it as “the coming of age of a formidable entity designed to sustain and amplify the efforts of our nations, to protect us from climate impacts, expand our adaptive capacity and enable us rise beyond our climate vulnerabilities’’.
This, he underscored, would provide a more formidable voice and intent on their advocacy for a ‘Just Energy Transition’, protect economies of climate vulnerable countries from climate impacts, scale-up accessibility finance with urgency and also ensure debt sustainability.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is the Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, CVF in his address conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the group to the people of Morrocco and Libya.
‘’As we struggle to overcome the combined stress of climate change and debt, it is important to remind ourselves that what binds us is more than our collective vulnerabilities and it is our capabilities that define us and our readiness to confront together our existential threat that set us apart’’ he stated.
According to the Chair of the CVF, a new deal on carbon financing was essential to achieve the Paris Agreement in the near term and underscored the need to strengthen the 2030 climate target for major polluting economies and the encourage ambitious positive climate action in low emitting developing economies.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E Amina J. Mohammed stressed the need to acknowledge the leadership and ingenuity of the climate vulnerable nations which often bear the disproportionate burden of the climate crisis.
She regretted that, developing economies and vulnerable countries were severely hampered by debilitating debt burden, limited fiscal space, and high borrowing cost and highlighted that the solution to the difficulties was the formation of a robust global financial architecture.
Following that, the Deputy Secretary-General urged stakeholders, multilateral institutions, government leaders, businesses, civil society organisations, and individuals to join in the creation of a more resilient global financial architecture that would enable nations to thrive in a more prosperous and resilient world.
The Prime Minister for Barbados, Her Excellency Mia Amor Mottley also stated that, if ever there was a need for a group that was focused on vulnerability in a strategic way, this was the time and gave assurance of her country’s full commitment to working with all others in a way that shaped the organisation.
She further advised on the need to adopt country ownership of the transition strategies to facilitate the transition to low carbon economies, enable members to realise our Nationally Determined Contributions and ultimately maintain the 1.5-degree temperature threshold. The Prime Minister also officially indicated Barbados’s willingness to Chair the Forum after Ghana’s tenure ends in May 2024.
The meeting, geared at engendering strong support from member states to establish a climate-resilient global financial architecture as well as operationalise the consensus to establish an independent secretariat through a Leader’s Declaration, was attended by leaders and ministers from Climate Vulnerable states, leaders from other climate conscious nations, multilateral development organisations, international organisations, philanthropies, civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders.
Other speakers who added their voices to the Declaration of an Independent Secretariat for the Climate Vulnerable Forum included H.E Ranil Wickremesinghe, President of Sri Lanka, H.E Ariel Henry, Prime Minister of Haiti, H. E Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, H. E, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, France, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State, UK, Lord Malloch Brown of the Open Society Foundation and Ministers and Ambassadors from other climate vulnerable countries. END