Global Human Development Report 2007/2008 launched in Khartoum: Sudan Reiterates Commitment to Global Fight against Climate Change

Khartoum, 22 January 2008: at 10am today, the United Nations Development Programme launched the Global Human Development Report 2007/2008, under the theme: Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world.

The launch presentations of the Report provided an opportunity to discuss the effects heavy carbon pollution developed countries have on regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa; threatening progress in health, education and poverty reduction. The presentations also examined climate change in the context of Sudan such as land degradation, deforestation, desertification and other impacts of climate change that threaten the prospects of lasting peace and sustainable development in the country.

The Report generally outlines a framework for climate change negotiations and stresses that a narrow 10-year window of opportunity remains to put it into practice. If that window is missed, temperature rises of above two degrees Celsius could see an extra 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa go hungry, increasing the recurrence of epidemics and mosquito-borne diseases in the region.

Ms. Tereza Ciricio, State Minister of Environment and Physical Development said “it is abundantly clear that the accelerated changing climate represents the most preoccupying challenge worldwide” also stressing that “the developing countries are the most disproportionately vulnerable to crisis and social upheaval engendered by climate change. In conclusion, the State Minister said ”The Ministry of Environment and Physical Development will play a key role to cooperate and coordinate efforts with all stakeholders at all levels, to address the global environment challenges”.

Emphasizing the inevitability of climate change and the particular vulnerability of Sudan and Africa as a whole, Ms. Ameerah Haq, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sudan said “the world lacks neither the financial resources, nor the ability to develop the technology to act. What is missing is a sense of urgency, of human solidarity and collective interest.” Ms. Haq concluded by saying “While we do still live in a world where people are separated by vast gaps in wealth and opportunity, let us seize the chance that exists to safeguard the one thing we all share in common: planet Earth. For in the end our destinies are inextricably tied to each other”

Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Sudan Country Director, stressed the importance of the Human Development Report which annually deals with issues facing the international community as a whole. “This year, the report deals with climate change reminding us that if action is not taken by the international community, civil society, governments and communities as a whole, this will impair progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and turn back many achievements that this nation and the world have made in the past years.” Mr. Skuratowicz also encouraged the involvement of leading politicians and expressed his gratitude for the strong government and media presence in the event.

Mr. Clive Bates, UNEP, Programme Manager spoke of the impact of climate change and how it increases current environmental degradation such as the considerable deforestation in Sudan. Mr. Bates said “Now that UNEP has recently established an office in Sudan, we are looking forward to working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Development to jointly address these issues”.

Sudanese experts and academia, representatives of the private sector, local and international NGOs engaged in environmental work, representatives of the United Nations, international development partners and key government officials attended the launch.

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For more information, please contact:

Hanan Mutwakil, Programme Analyst, UNDP Sudan: hanan.mutwakil@undp.org
Dalia El Roubi, Communications Analyst, UNDP Sudan : dalia.elroubi@undp.org
For information on the HDR please visit: http://hdr.undp.org/


UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.