The High-level Signature Ceremony for Paris Agreement

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Statement by H.E. Mahmoud Saikal Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

at the High-level Signature Ceremony for Paris Agreement

April 22, 2016

NEW YORK

(Check against delivery)

Mr. Chair,

At the outset, let me thank the Secretary General for convening this important event on today’s historic occasion. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Kingdom of Thailand on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and with the statement delivered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries.

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

National statements on the occasion of the High-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement Afghanistan

National statements on the occasion of the High-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement
Afghanistan

12 December 2015 was a memorable day for the United Nations, its Member States, and the international community. The adoption of the Paris Agreement embodied an act of paramount importance for multilateralism and the path towards a better and sustainable future. Through the Paris Agreement, the world has committed to address climate change, one of the defining issues of our time, in a serious, timely, and comprehensive manner. Today constitutes another historic date as we took the second step towards implementation by signing it. I was proud to participate and to sign on behalf of Afghanistan this morning.

The long term goals agreed in Paris, including the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, constitute a milestone achievement as well as a valuable roadmap for the future.

Mr. Chair,

Afghanistan is ranked among the most vulnerable countries facing adverse impacts of climate change, although its people are least responsible for causing the problem in the first place. Afghanistan has extensive development and climate adaptation needs and currently, very low levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Afghanistan is highly prone to natural disasters throughout its 34 provinces. As a result of climate change, it is anticipated that the incidence of extreme weather events, including heat waves, floods, and droughts will likely increase, as will climate change-linked disasters such as glacial lake outflows. The majority of Afghanistan’s population relies directly on available natural resources for their livelihoods; with these incidents related to climatic change, the foundation of the country’s economy, stability, and food security is under threat.

Mr. Chair,

Despite these challenges, Afghanistan can remain a low emission economy while developing rapidly if extensive financial and other resources are made available to allow the country to successfully develop and implement Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and Highly Effective Adaptation and Development Strategies (HEADS) under the Paris Agreement.

Appropriate and significant support in the form of finance, capacity building, technology and legal assistance is needed for Afghanistan to make substantial progress on social and economic fronts, while maintaining low per capita GHG emission levels.

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

We believe the Paris Agreement puts us on the right track to finally address the issue of climate change and achieving environmental and social integrity. We look forward to the future UN negotiations to elaborate its details and thoroughly implement its provisions.

To conclude, let me reassure you of the full support and commitment of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan for an active engagement in the successful implementation of the Agreement.

Thank you Mr. Chair.

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