President Mugabe Arrives In New York

President Mugabe Arrives In New York
President Mugabe arriving in New York for a UN meeting.

AFRICANGLOBE – President Mugabe arrived in New York yesterday to attend two high level engagements pertaining to climate change mitigation and the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN headquarters.

The President, who is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, was met at JFK International Airport by Ambassador to the UN Fredrick Shava, Minister Counsellor Vusumuzi Ntonga, Air Commodore Simon Nyowani and embassy staff.

The President, who has a packed programme over the next two days, today joins other Heads of State and Government at the High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The President will co-chair the debate together with UN General Assembly president Mr Mogens Lykketoft and is scheduled to address the plenary on the theme, ‘Action at all Levels: National Implementation’.

Tomorrow the President will join other leaders for the Signature Ceremony of the Paris Agreement, which will be presided over by France in its capacity as COP21 host where the agreement was struck and adopted last year.

The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP21 in Paris on December 12, 2015.

All countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To keep the global spotlight on climate change mitigation in the wake of COP21, the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon invited representatives of all countries to sign the Paris Agreement at a special ceremony scheduled for tomorrow.

Climatologists contend that implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate change mitigation through reduction of emissions.

Greenhouse gases, namely water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, absorb and retain heat in the atmosphere that at higher concentrations are harmful to the viability of life on earth.

Though ground breaking, the UNFCC treaty did not set any binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms, an anomaly that the Paris Agreement seeks to rectify through the adoption of a legally binding and non-binding provisions on climate change mitigation to succeed the largely unsuccessful Kyoto Protocol.

Developing countries like Zimbabwe that have agro-based economies and depend on rain-fed agriculture with a majority of the population of over 70 percent living in rural and farming areas, keenly feel the impact of climate change.

Experts warn that global warming is already halfway to the 2 degree mark, a possible tipping point that may lead to the melting of glaciers, rising sea and ocean levels, leading to the disappearance of some islands and archipelagos and increased droughts, among other ills.


By: Caesar Zvayi


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