Portugal is a country that sees migration as a determining factor for its development”, said the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs at the closing session of one of the side events held on the sidelines of the 42nd ordinary session of the Executive Council of the African Union.
A session focused on the Climate-Migration nexus, co-organised by Portugal, Mozambique, Kenya, the African Union Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).“It will not, therefore, be a surprise that Portugal, like the other co-organisers, naturally sees the fight against climate change and the promotion of safe, orderly and regular mobility as two priority purposes, absolutely compatible and interconnected”, also underlined the minister João Gomes Cravinho.
The MNE also said that “Portugal is committed to this nexus and, inherently, committed to the work in each of its components – climate and migration”, warning, however, that “only concerted and ambitious mobilization” will be able to correspond “to the magnitude of challenges and opportunities”.A robust and coordinated effort is needed between all the actors”, concluded João Gomes Cravinho, not forgetting that “from a European perspective, I have to emphasize that without African partners, our partners of excellence, we will never be up to the task”.
In his speech, the head of Portuguese diplomacy also highlighted Portugal’s close and close ties with the African continent, even showing that “the Portuguese people have an enormous proximity to Africa and perceive the advantages that mobility between Europe and Africa can bring, Today, the African community in Portugal is very significant, as well as the Portuguese diaspora spread across the countries of the African continent”.
For his part, the director general of IOM recalled the importance of guaranteeing “safe, orderly and planned migration”, adding that migrations “must be a fundamental component of adaptation strategies” to climate change.
“It is up to us to keep the issue at the top of the agenda”, praising African countries for being pioneers and proactive in this plan. He underlined the importance of the results achieved at COP27 and reiterated the expectation that this matter could be discussed at COP 28. António Vitorino warned, however, that the current level of funding for adaptation is still insufficient. The representatives of the African Union Commissioners, Josefa Sacko and Minata Samaté Cessouma, each with responsibilities in the themes of the Climate-Migration nexus, recalled the importance of “investing in both adaptation and mitigation of climate change” and of “prioritizing initiatives in the socioeconomic.
This “side event” also included the participation of the Minister of Land and Environment of Mozambique, Ivete Maibaze, and the Minister of the Environment, Climate Change and Forests of Kenya, Roselinda Soipan Tuya. At a time when Mozambique is being hit by heavy rains, with close to 90,000 people affected, the Mozambican minister called for “better coordination of global efforts” to face the recurrence and unpredictability of climate change, sharing some concrete aspects of the experience of the Mozambican authorities.
The Kenyan minister understands that, although some try to present the Climate-Migration nexus as something new, there is an “already significant and broad set of instruments” that allows responding to the challenges of the climate-migration nexus, requiring only the existence of political will to mobilize them effectively.