President Rashid Addresses UN Climate Summit (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

2022/11/08

Mr. President,
Allow me first to greet President Abdul Fattah El-Sisi, and on behalf of the Republic of Iraq, I support the Egyptian President's proposal to stop the war in Ukraine. We thank him for this proposal.

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

His Excellency President of the Republic of Egypt,
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi,
Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses, Heads of Governments and Ministers,   
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me express my thanks and gratitude for the efforts made by the Arab Republic of Egypt for the good reception and for the success of the Conference which is a significant mark in our efforts to face the challenges presented by climate change. And to create more effective responses to environmental challenges that threaten life on the planet, and in response to climate change and its ramifications in economic and health conditions.

In this regard, the most prominent challenge that we faced in Iraq is the water problem. It is indeed surprising if we think that Mesopotamia faces the problem of water scarcity after long periods of time, flooding was a major problem for population, agriculture, and life.

This crisis has prompted government agencies to rationalize and reduce agricultural policy in the region, agriculture depends on irrigation. This casts a shadow over the life and livelihood of the Iraqi agricultural community and the general population. In addition to the resulting high rate of desertification and other environmental, health, and economic damage.

 The dictatorship had drained a vast area of Iraq's marshlands, and we sought to revive it in the post-2003, but recently these marshes have suffered from drought due to the shorting of the water levels that feed the wetlands.

The crisis has increased to double due to the poor rains and drought over recent years. It is, therefore, agriculture in Iraq was affected directly, and has exacerbated desertification and created grave challenges for the agricultural and livestock sectors.

Iraqi government's water authorities have worked with their counterparts in the Republic of Turkey and the Iranian Islamic Republic for getting a fair share from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and their branches. They also underlined the problem of Iraq's marshland which is a vital part of the history of human civilizations and a key aspect in supporting life in our country, and it has always been a fundamental factor to maintain ecological balance not only in Iraq but also in the region as a whole.

The drought unfolding in our country poses serious threats to the livelihood of citizens and the state's economy, and it also affects the life and environment in the region at large and even shrinks green spaces in the world.  

We remain hopeful that, there will be further cooperation between us and the political and water authorities of the two neighbors, especially Turkey.

 Regretfully, many of the agricultural development plans and the improvement of the environment have failed due to violence and terrorism. One of the gravest challenges that threaten a large area of fields and orchards was when the most extremist group known as the Da'esh gripped some Iraqi cities and villages.

Desertification has threatened nearly 40 per cent of our country after it was one of the most fertile and productive countries in the region.

Your Majesties, Excellencies, and Highnesses,
  Promoting efforts that aim to reduce increasing in desertification will be crucial steps that will be taken as part of the Iraqi government's environmental and agricultural policy.
In doing so, we have to expand green spaces and revive arid areas for minimizing environmental damage, one manifestation of which is transboundary dust storms.  However, the government has also to work on a policy of controlling, mobilizing, and rationalizing water. Sustainable water management and strategies to increase water resilience to climate change and improve irrigation and reduce water wastage is necessary steps to be undertaken.

Meanwhile, Iraq continues its efforts to develop the production of gas fields to curb emissions causing global warming which is a crucial area a preserve and clean up the environment.

Perhaps, the efforts have been stalled due to the war against terror, and it is, therefore, revitalizing these efforts in ways that deserve, should be taken into account as part of the responsibility. That is what we emphasized to be taken by the next government development policies.

Iraq was the most affected country by global warming.
Iraq is a state party to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) and is affected by global warming. Although we have faced terrorism and violence, we support and share the international community's efforts that aim to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions.

It is hoped that international support would be realized to help ensure moving ahead on adopting these policies and activating the plans and strategies to increase access to renewable and clean energy and support efforts aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve the environment and address climate change.

We affirm the importance of sharing experiences among the countries.
We underscore the need to develop the international support that promotes these efforts.

Our eagerness to maintain a clean environment is a part of our responsibility toward the generations to come. That a clean environment and natural resources including water are for all future generations.

I reiterate my thanks and my appreciation for your sincere efforts.

I express my best wishes for the success of the Conference, and I wish that it would be a crucial step toward the humanitarian efforts that aim to create an effective partnership among all parties to maintain life and improve air quality and meet climate goals.

 Thank you.

 


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Presedent