Third Aswan Forum to open Tuesday with focus on climate-safe future, security in Africa

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Jun 2022

The Egyptian capital Cairo is preparing to host the third edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development on 21-22 June in a hybrid format with a focus on climate and security issues in Africa.


The event, held under the auspices of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to host 900 representatives from 50 countries, including foreign ministers of the continent, senior officials, think tanks, the private sector, and NGOs.

Leaders from regional and international organisations, business, civil society, and experts from a range of sectors will also participate in the forum.

The forum, held this year under the theme "Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient, and Sustainable Continent," seeks to advance a post-pandemic green transformative agenda and a climate-safe future in Africa.

This recovery agenda would contribute to strengthening Africa’s ability to tackle cascading risks in the pursuit of sustainable peace and development.


Speakers at the forum

El-Sisi, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki, and many African foreign ministers will give speeches during the forum, according to the forum’s website.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will highlight the vital role of the forum in contributing to conveying the aspirations of the people of Africa and addressing challenges the continent faces.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will speak during the forum on the multi-dimensional crises facing the African continent and means of overcoming them and accelerating climate action.

Other speakers include Director General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Ghada Waly, Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Osama Abdel-Khaled, as well as World Bank officials.

Forum's agenda

The forum seeks to propose a set of measures to help ensure Africa achieves its goals regarding development, peace, and climate. Moreover, objectives of the forum include continuing to advance the operationalisation of the humanitarian, development, and peace nexus.

The agenda of the conference includes sessions on counterterrorism and women and youth empowerment to promote development in Africa.

The forum will also discuss means of achieving food security, building national institutions, and the role of African youths in achieving sustainable peace and development in the face of climate change.

The discussions will be building up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which Egypt is scheduled to host this November in Sharm El-Sheikh city.

Towards COP27

Ahmed Abdel-Latif, executive director of the forum and director-general of the Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peace building (CCCPA), said the third Aswan Forum is special because it is a stop on the way to COP27.

Egypt has vowed to speak for Africa's aspirations to cope with climate change at COP27 on 7-18 November, which Egypt will host on behalf of the continent. Egypt said that Africa receives "inadequate" financing to cope with climate although it contributes to the lowest percentage of greenhouse emissions.

The forum will place special emphasis on the interface between climate change and sustaining peace in Africa and focus on the links between peace and climate change, displacement and climate change, and the role of women and youth in developing solutions, Abdel-Latif explained.

Counterterrorism, development

The forum is also scheduled to present a field study on Nigeria’s experience in facing terrorism, he added.

During the forum, a youth dialogue that will focus on empowering youth-led climate responses for sustaining peace and development will be featured.

By the end of the third edition participants are expected to produce a list of action-oriented recommendations, and in the course of the sessions will follow up on the implementation of the recommendations produced by the second edition.

The second edition of the Aswan Forum was held virtually in March 2021 under the theme "Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better." It shed light on the challenges facing Africa, notably the coronavirus pandemic.

The first edition was held in December 2019 in Upper Egypt’s Aswan.

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