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Legislators meet over climate

NAIROBI, August 26 – A major parliamentary forum kicked off in Nairobi on Tuesday, to ponder the crucial questions of climate change and food security.

The three-day convergence of Parliamentarians from across Africa, Europe and Japan, as well as several experts, will also tackle the effectiveness of aid, ahead of next month’s High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra.

Some 150 delegates from 15 countries are expected to attend the ‘Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development and Aid Effectiveness’, which is mainly being organised by the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA).

“Climate change, and the related issue of food security, is a huge challenge for all of us,” comments Pär Granstedt, Secretary General of AWEPA.

“We fully recognise that industrialised countries are the main contributors to the crisis, while less developed regions, especially Africa, seem destined to suffer most.”

“The Forum will reinforce the dialogue among legislators and energise parliamentary action to deal with the issues and face up to the problems,” Granstedt added.

Other co-organisers include the Pan-African Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the Kenyan Parliament.

Graça Machel will be among the key speakers, as well as Prof. Albert Tevoedjre, Special Envoy for the UN Secretary-General for Ivory Coast, Abdirahin Haithar Abdi, Speaker of EALA, Asahiko Mihara, Director of Japan’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Dr Jan Nico Scholten, President of AWEPA.

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The Forum will produce a North-South Parliamentary Action Plan on Climate Change, including a programme of regional seminars and national parliamentary workshops in primarily in Africa and Europe to emphasise the potential consequences of climate change in Africa.

The programme will pave way for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

The Nairobi Forum will further engage parliamentarians in the aid effectiveness debate and the ongoing process of monitoring the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

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