Marrakech- Salaheddine Mezouar, the Moroccan Foreign Minister and President of the 22nd U.N. conference on climate change (COP22), has said that “COP22 is taking place in an African country and the challenges found in Africa are plenty which urges Marrakesh conference and later ones to tackle them. We wanted this conference to represent a transformation point in the way topics are addressed.”
“Negotiations reached an advanced level represented in Paris Agreement that has gone into effect. This actually requires a different approach towards funding mechanisms to go along with capability empowerment and project support that fall under countries’ commitments,” Mezouar told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Moroccan Foreign Minister continued that the first step to be taken is changing the way topics are addressed and the second step is to open space for non-governmental activists who have an essential and influential role in the dynamism of implementing countries’ commitments.
“When I talk about non-governmental activists, I indeed mean the private sector, financial sector, contracting and civil community,” he said.
The FM commended the role of Arab countries in the conference and their strong support for the Moroccan presidency and goals. He hailed the unique coordination among Arabs and paid special attention to the role of Persian Gulf countries and the involvement of oil and gas producing states in projects and initiatives.
Commenting on the results of the U.S. presidential elections, Mezouar said that some concerns were justifiable after the victory of Donald Trump, given the slogan he promoted during the electoral campaign.
“The Paris Agreement is now applicable and irreversible. It is the choice of the international system to combat and face climate-related matters. Also, we can’t judge based on an electoral campaign slogan,” he added.
As the president of COP22, he promised to launch talks beside persuasion attempts so that the international system remains on the same level of coordination and solidarity.
“Unlike the electoral slogan, there are 40 U.S. States involved in activating the Paris Agreement and other climate-change related projects,” he said.