The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is participating in the Third Edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development that takes place in Cairo City, between 21 June and 22 June 2022.
With the strong participation of 900 representatives from 50 countries, including IOM, high-level African government officials and diplomats, representatives from international organizations, think tanks, academia, and civil society, the forum addresses a number of Africa’s priorities, including enhancing cooperation in combating terrorism, overcoming the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving food security, and advancing post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.
“IOM highlights climate change and human mobility concerns during Aswan Forum in Cairo,” read IOM’s statement.
IOM’s participation at the event comes as part of its commitment to supporting and contributing towards active dialogues on sustainable peace in Africa through effectively addressing human mobility issues in fragile and conflict settings.
According to IOM, impacts of climate change on heightened food and water insecurity, competition over resources, loss of livelihoods and exacerbated displacement, will be highlighted in the event.
Nearly, 216 million people could be forced to move internally by 2050 in just six regions due to climate change if immediate action is not taken, the United Nations, Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement reported.
The Forum is co-organized by the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), the National Coordination Committee headed by the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Discussions at the Forum will inform the upcoming Conference of Parties 27 (COP 27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be hosted by Egypt as its Presidency in November 2022.
In her address at the Forum, Ms. Caroline Dumas, IOM Director General’s Special Envoy for Migration and Climate Action said, “Climate change is very rarely a single cause of human mobility, except on what concerns disaster displacement. Other mobility dynamics are nuanced and depended on multiple drivers, such as livelihoods opportunities or family reunification.”
“Regarding the nexus of climate change, human mobility and conflict, IOM’s position is to understand this nexus through the prism of human security, and not through a securitization lens that limits mobility and threatens the protection of vulnerable individuals.”
Ms. Dumas, participates on the second day of the Forum in a panel discussion titled: The Climate-Displacement Nexus and Sustaining Peace in Africa: Advancing Durable Solutions.
“For years, the compounded effect of conflict and climate change has been forcing many people to flee/migrate. The Horn of Africa is among the regions that has been highly impacted,” said Ms. Aissata Kane, the Senior Regional Adviser for Sub-Saharan Africa “Mobility is for some a way of life. For others, it is a coping strategy.
For most communities, however, mobility is not an option, and they remain trapped in conflict or in areas in which climate change has impacted their capacity to provide for themselves. Involuntary immobility is often overlooked within climate-induced migration. Climate change is creating obstacles that prevent movement.”
Furthermore, Ms. Aissata Kane, the Senior Regional Adviser for Sub-Saharan Africa at IOM will join a panel discussion titled: Advancing Sustainable Peace and Development in the Red Sea.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister, H.E. Sameh Shoukry presented opening remarks at the forum following which there were several pre-recorded messages from African leaders including H.E President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the chairperson of the African Union, and the president of the African Commission.
Individual panel discussions covering a range of topics from conflict resolution and peacebuilding to climate adaptation, gender equality, and youth development for a peaceful and more resilient African future, are presented at the Forum.
During the two days-sessions, the partakers agreed that climate change has adverse implications on the sustainability of peace, security and development in Africa, with disproportionate impact on youth, and can disrupt employment opportunities, fuel forced displacement, and lead to increased conflicts as a risk multiplier.