PM worries for Kenya and other nations

December 1, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday expressed fear that the impact of climate change could derail efforts to attain Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) by the year 2015 unless the global phenomenon is addressed.

He warned a high level UN conference on South-to-South cooperation that gains made by developing nations towards the realisation of the goals could easily be eroded if the effects of global warming were not checked.

Mr Odinga said the goal "can only remain a mirage or delay to materialise within the set timeframe unless we make deliberate efforts to remove the obstacles climate change has imposed on the path." 

The Premier told Third World countries to push for allocation of sound financial resources to conclusively mitigate the crisis by reduction of green house gas emissions during the coming global conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Vulnerable developing countries  must front their agenda as a bloc in Copenhagen and agree that failure is not an option but embrace the spirit of give and take to achieve the goal” he insisted.

Mr Odinga said most African countries were grappling with the ravages of climate change and lost their focus on the envisaged goals as drought and floods eclipse the normal weather patterns.

He suggested that the three-day conference held at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi come up with recommendations that could persuade the international community to bail out poor nations in terms of research and technological assistance.

The Premier however underscored the need for the nations within the South-to-South bracket to extend their co-operation to developed countries in the North to promote global trade and economic growth.

He said an extension of a South-to-North linkage was crucial in completing the triangular trade connectivity since the world had become a global village.

Mr Odinga complained that poverty indexes in the Third World were soaring even after developing nations put remedial measures to reverse the trend and urged the countries to integrate to overcome the challenges.

“Many challenges ranging from the global financial crunch, spread of communicable diseases, and the recent climate change have dogged our prospects and crippled our efforts to a gridlock,” he said.

The Premier urged participants at the conference to device new approaches that could promote regional growth and co-operation citing the EAC, SADC, COMESA, and ECOWAS as some of the economic blocs that could advance the economic agenda.


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