Mr Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General says the climate change crisis which continues to further impoverish countries, and hampering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), requires the support of the African media, to channel the right information to the people.
The most vulnerable countries, and women, he said also continue to bear the brunt of the climate emergency, with many of them who engage in agriculture and food activities, being the most vulnerable to disasters such as droughts, floods and famine.
In a speech read on his behalf at a closing dinner organised for some 300 African female journalists attending the 3rd Edition of the Les Panafricaines forum in Casablanca, Morocco, Mr Guterres said it was not too late to mobilise actions that would help to cushion the most climate affected continents like Africa.
“As journalists you play an essential role not only in informing but also in giving hope and inciting actions”, he said.
The UN Secretary-General said he was counting on the African female journalists to highlight the climate impact and the solutions to Africa.
He said in the course of this year, 19 African countries had pledged to increase their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), (countries national efforts and actions aim at reducing national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change).
He asked all countries to take a cue and be prepared to commit towards more ambitious climate programmes.
“We need to highlight climate mobilisation across the continents, individually, and for entire sectors, he stated.
Mr Guterres said green and sustainable development, which promotes equitable opportunities, while taking into account the climate emergency was also possible and must be pursued by countries.
He, therefore, commended Morocco’s remarkable efforts in promoting renewable energy as a good example for other countries to emulate.
“Together, we can build a better future for generations to come”, he stated.
The forum, also known as the “African Women Journalists Forum, and attended by female journalists from all 54 African countries including Ghana, was on the theme: “Climate Emergency: African Media, Agents of Change”.
The two-day event was hosted by Les Panafricaines, a Moroccan based organisation, and the Moroccan Government in collaboration with 2M, a public multimedia company in Morocco, which initiated the Forum in 2017.