Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry elected COP27 President, calls for multilateralism

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during the opening session at the U.N.'s COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Nov. 6. [Courtesy, Egyptian Foreign Ministry)

Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has been formally elected as the COP27 President by the Parties during the opening plenary that happened today. 

In his acceptance speech, Shoukry called on countries to show faith in multilateralism over the next two weeks as they negotiate to deliver on the goals of the Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement.

Addressing climate envoys and delegates at what is considered to be one of the largest COPs ever in terms of attendance, Shoukry said, “It comes as no surprise to anyone that the COP is being held this year in a world which is witnessing political turmoil that cast a long shadow on all our nations and has resulted in energy and food crises, however these challenges should be no reason for delaying our collective effort to fight climate change.”

He added, “It is inherent on us all in Sharm El Sheikh to demonstrate our recognition of the magnitude of the challenges we face and our steadfast resolve to overcome it.”

Shoukry said Egypt has made sure that COP27 provides the optimum setting to align and converge multiple views facilitating transparent, inclusive, and fruitful discussions to ensure the most positive outcome achievable.

The minister stressed that albeit the challenging economic and geopolitical factors, external circumstances should not be allowed to negatively affect the negotiating process, adding that as a COP hosted in Africa, it must consider the needs of the developing countries and ensure climate justice through availing the appropriate finance and other means of implementation, as countries that are the least responsible for emissions are the most affected by climate change.

 The conference of the parties adopted its agenda, and for the first time since the adoption of the UN climate convention, parties agreed to introduce loss and damage funding as an agenda item at the climate conference, after a yearlong work culminating in 48 hours of continuous informal consultations led by the Egyptian COP Presidency on the eve of the COP.

Shoukry lauded the sense of responsibility and commitment that parties showed, as well as the collective keenness on preserving the credibility and relevance of the climate process by making the right decision that responds to the suffering of millions of climate calamities’ victims around the world. 

 More than 50,000 attendees are registered and expected to participate at COP27’s Blue Zone and thousands of others at the Green Zone.

The Egyptian Presidency has designated several key thematic days that will include pledging opportunities, discussions, roundtables, and side events.

The thematic days are part of efforts to advance climate action that can address existing implementation bottlenecks and gaps and deepen engagement with youth, women, civil society and indigenous people. 

The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit will start tomorrow and runs for two days, bringing all participating heads of state and government.

Just transitions, food security, innovative finance for climate and development, investing in the future of energy, water security, and climate change and the sustainability of vulnerable communities are among key topics to be discussed on roundtables.

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