11 – 18 February 2024 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) – The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) joined the growing movement of government representatives, private sector representatives, activists, faith-based organizations, and community leaders on the side-lines of the 37th African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of States and Governments that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where PALU was also a proud participant of the Movement of Movements (MOM) convening on climate change.

Aiming to build a joint African position on climate change, bringing together stakeholders working on legal issues, development finance issues, environmental issues, the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), among many other partners, the MoM was formed during the 27th Conference of Parties (COP-27) that took place in Egypt in 2022 with the sole purpose of identifying opportunities to build solidarity and synergies across various work being done by civil societies, in particular on climate justice. As a result, there was an agreement to continue holding such spaces for joint discussions and increased collaboration on shared work.

Africa continues to face adverse and intense climate change impacts more than any of the historical polluters combined. While this happens, other issues have contributed to the difficulty that Africa faces in combating climate change issues. Africa is faced with food security, natural disasters in terms of droughts, famines, floods, and wealth extraction in terms of illicit financial flows and debt servicing.

Africa is the continent least responsible for climate change but most vulnerable to its effects. It is also the continent that is most historically impacted by colonial projects of extraction which have left many of our countries heavily indebted, underdeveloped, and riddled with outdated development models and institutions that continue to hold us back.

The main objective of this convening was to discuss ways in which different CSOs can form a common African position on climate change issues and decolonize the systems that are already in place as set up by the historical colonizers and modern-day colonizers.

The convenings culminated with an articulation of key calls which were part of a joint statement of CSOs to present to the AU, these include;

  • Need for an African friendly finance institution that will help it access capital to finance its agenda 2063.
  • Formulation of a strategy to generate the much-needed consensus to build momentum towards the AU financial institutions that will help Africa shape global economic policies.
  • Extra pressure on lenders to avoid exerting financial vulnerability syndrome on African states.
  • A comprehensive and systematic response to the incipient debt crisis outside the default framework to create fiscal space for the financial development of Agenda 2063.
  • A comprehensive and systematic response to the incipient debt crisis outside the default framework to create fiscal space for the financial development of Agenda 2063.

The link to the statement: https://africanarguments.org/2024/02/we-demand-a-collective-statement-to-the-african-union-au/

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