By Pita Ligaiula, in Luanda, Angola.
The Secretary General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Georges Rebelo Chikoti has called on 79 leaders of the bloc to act jointly to raise issues of concern to member states.
Speaking at the opening of the 10th Summit for the Head of States and Government in Luanda Friday, Chikoti said COVID-19 had negatively impacted the health, economy and livelihoods of the people.
“Now is the time for the OACPS to act jointly to improve our solidarity and strengthen our unity to raise our concerns and to become a fierce advocate for strengthen multilateralism.
“The disastrous effects of climate change such as droughts, flooding, fires, and extreme heat, constitute further threats to our existence, not to mention the diverse devastating effects of loss of biodiversity on our ecosystems and economies.
“Now is, indeed, the time for the OACPS to take its place within the global entities to play a role as a valued and trusted partner,” Chikoti told delegates at the Summit.
He said the organisations should continue to push for reform of the United Nations and its agencies such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“Those efforts must be strengthened to ensure that these organisations become more efficient, inclusive and representative of an equitable world order,” said Chikoti.
Chikoti said the global financial architecture needs to be overhauled to ensure access to grants and climate action.
“Parties from the developed world should be held accountable by limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, by injecting funds into the new loss and damage fund, delivering US$100 billion which is outstanding by 2023 by doubling adaptation, finance and stepping up support to development efforts as well as technology transfer.
“As we strive to build sustainability and resilience, we count on the shared moral authority we hold based on ambitious and decisive leadership on climate,” said Chikoti.
He said OACPS is the largest grouping of independent states of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific.
“Together, the countries of Africa the Caribbean and Pacific were able to achieve much
over the last 48 years – 79 countries three regions all under the same banner of unity and solidarity.
“A 10th summit is a moment to allow us to reaffirm our commitment to building an OACPS that is equipped to implement sustainable development goals for a common destiny on behalf of the three continents, three oceans which our countries hold.
“In your declaration as the close of the summit, we will, through that declaration, be guided so that we may navigate a difficult world. However, we will benefit from your wisdom,” SG Chikoti said.
It is expected that a signing of the Luanda Declaration will be held on Saturday.