Chair of the ACP Group Committee of Ambassadors,
Representatives of the European Commission,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you all to the Second “Open Day” of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade of the ACP Secretariat. As you must have noticed from the Programme, this year’s “Open Day” is focusing on the important issue of climate change which is generally of global significance, and particularly has crucial implications on ACP countries.

The phenomenon of climate change has become a crucial global challenging issue threatening inter alia, efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and therefore demands urgent and cooperative action, guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

Changing climate has constituted a danger to equitable and sustainable development requiring that adaptation strategies seek to manage the risks, support developing countries and their populations in building their resilience to climate change impacts, and ensure joint efforts within the framework of the ACP-EU partnership to eradicate poverty. Additionally, stakeholders in the effort to cope with the impact of climate change should also consider mitigation strategies as useful tools.

It is therefore important that development programmes and projects mainstream environmental issues, particularly climate change issues into their various activities. In this regard, there is the urgent need to embrace in totality the concept of Green Economy which deals with improvement of human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

As a Group, we recognised the commitments by developed countries since the UNFCCC Copenhagen Conference to fast start financing for climate action of 30 billion USD for the period 2010-2012. In the framework of our partnership with the EU, this commitment has translated to the programme – Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) being implemented in ACP countries.

We are all aware that the Cancun Agreement went a step further to among other things establish the Green Climate Fund, and the Climate Technology Centre and Network. However, there is the need to accelerate the operationalisation of these mechanisms. It is equally relevant to stress that new and additional resources necessary for financing adaptation should be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as in Africa, the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States.

Invited Guest Speakers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As negotiations toward a Post-Kyoto period will continue in Durban before long, the expectation of the ACP Group is that an agreement which will incorporate the building blocks of adaptation, financing, technology, capacity building and mitigation, in line with the Bali Action Plan will be concluded.

Today, we have among us the Programme Managers and Coordinators of our various Programme Management Units (PMUs) and representatives of some ACP Regional Bodies who will throw more light on the linkages and mainstreaming strategies of the various programmes and climate change.

I would also like to seize this opportunity to thank the various Management Units of Programmes and Facilities that have managed to put in place some stands in the lobby with a view to providing information to ACP Embassies and participants on their activities including how to access their programmes.

I encourage Embassies and Missions to interact with them and explore possibilities of lodging programmes and projects aimed at boosting their development opportunities and address challenges confronting them.

Iwish to thank you for finding time from your busy schedules to attend this important event while wishing you a fruitful deliberation.

H.E Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Secretary General
ACP Secretariat