The Foundation is delighted that the important role women’s leadership can play in the United Nations Climate Change negotiations was highlighted today during the Opening Ceremony of COP17/CMP7
“Because we now have women leaders at the helm of this COP and its CMP…. the outgoing President, a woman and a very capable woman, Executive Secretary, a woman and a capable woman and the incoming president….it is a very nice coincidence so we will not give up this opportunity to make use of it”.
– COP17/CMP 7 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Opening Ceremony 28 November, Durban
The Foundation is delighted that the important role women’s leadership can play in the United Nations Climate Change negotiations was highlighted today during the Opening Ceremony of COP17/CMP7 by its new President, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and outgoing COP President, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mexico, Patricia Espinosa.
The Foundation has been working to harness women’s leadership at the international level through a Troika+ of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change. Members of the Troika+ include Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister Espinosa, EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Executive Director, UN Women Michelle Bachelet, Mary Robinson and members of the Network of Women Ministers for the Environment.
As the international climate change negotiations are led by a growing group of women leaders, COP17 represents a real opportunity to demonstrate the value of women’s leadership.
In a reference to the grassroots women who are struggling with the impacts of climate change on their food security, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mexico, Patricia Espinosa said today in her speech at the Opening Ceremony: “Many actors outside this process are ready to support our efforts. I have seen for example that women are actively seeking solutions and exercising leadership in their communities. Let us help empower them and boost their contributions“.
President of the Foundation, Mary Robinson who attended the Opening Ceremony said: “We have an opportunity if we link the leadership of women at grassroots, their wisdom, their knowledge, their coping mechanisms with the fact that more and more women are ministers and leaders who have access to the negotiating tables and access to the important meetings where decisions are being taken. It is fitting that women are leading this COP, here on African soil, where women are responsible for 60-80% of food production but where the impacts of climate change are being felt in their daily lives. If we really show our strengths as women leaders in Durban, we will change the narrative, we will genuinely change the debate on climate change and find much more practical solutions for the future.”
During this COP, the Foundation will co-host a high-level event with President of COP17, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, entitled Women Leaders’ Commitments on Gender and Climate Change on 7 December which will convene women Ministers and deputy Ministers, negotiators, key civil society figures and senior women leaders to discuss how to take a human-centred approach to climate change that incorporates gender and sustainable development.