President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja Saturday for Katowice, Poland, to attend the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 2-4, 2018.
The COP24 Summit,
which will be held at the International Conference Centre (MCK) and the adjacent Spodek Arena in Katowice, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the Presiden (Media & Publicity), is being convened under the Presidency of Poland.
According to the organisers, the conference is expected to finalize the rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) – the rule book for implementation.
During the Leaders’ Summit at COP24, President Buhari will deliver a national statement highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to addressing climate change by implementing the goals set out in its National Determined Contributions.
He will also use the occasion to accentuate Nigeria’s willingness to work with international partners to reverse the negative effects of climate change in Africa and the world over, while expecting that developed nations scale up their emission reduction activities in order to limit the increase in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees centigrade between now and 2020.
The Leaders’ Summit is expected to adopt a ‘‘Declaration on Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia,’’ – named after the region of Poland where this year’s climate conference is taking place.
As a member of the Committee of the African Heads of State on Climate Change – a group of 10 African countries that meets and takes positions concerning issues of climate change on behalf of the continent – Nigeria has been at the forefront of advancing policies and initiatives aimed at addressing significant challenges occasioned by climate change such as reviving the Lake Chad, halting and reversing desertification, flooding, ocean surge and oil spillage.
President Buhari will continue to champion these pressing issues at COP24 in Katowice, among others, as well as reiterate Nigeria’s position on the need for African countries to access financial resources, especially the Green Climate Fund to draw up climate change adaptation policies and actions for implementation.
The Nigerian delegation will also showcase the policy measures and actions of the Federal Government at ensuring environmental sustainability and effectively combating climate change through several side events within the Nigerian pavilion.
While in Poland, President Buhari will hold an interactive session with the Nigerian community in that country.
The Nigerian leader is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The President will be accompanied by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Yahaya Bello and Abubakar Sani Bello of Enugu, Kogi and Niger States, respectively.
Others on his entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin.
Meanwhile, President Buhari Friday expressed Nigeria’s appreciation to the Republic of Ireland and its people for standing by Nigeria during her difficult moments, citing their support during the Civil War, and the current efforts to rebuild the devastation in the North-Eastern parts of the country.
Speaking while receiving the outgoing Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland, Mr Sean Hoy during a farewell visit to State House, Abuja, the President, according to a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), noted in particular, the work of Irish doctors and priests in their humanitarian support for Nigerian communities at all times.
According to President Buhari, “Nigeria and the Irish Republic enjoy excellent bilateral relations marked especially by the work of Irish medical teams and missionaries during the civil war, and the ongoing efforts in dealing with the humanitarian situation in the North-East. We appreciate what your country is doing for us.”
He also thanked the outgoing ambassador for enhancing the relationship between both countries.
Mr Hoy said he was leaving Nigeria to his next post, Brazil, with mixed feelings considering the enormous goodwill he enjoyed in Nigeria, and the improvements in the relations between the two nations.
He promised the continued assistance of his country to the efforts in rebuilding the North-East, stressing that, “It concerns all of us. We will continue to support you.”