‘Unemployment, climate change security threat’

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THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) executive secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, pictured, has expressed concern over the region’s growing levels of unemployment and climate change-induced effects, saying that they pose a threat to the peace and security of the region.

Tax revealed this following a courtesy call on President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the State House in Harare yesterday.

“The purpose of my meeting, as you are aware that President Mnangagwa is the chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, was to brief him about political peace and security in the region as the chair.

“We discussed issues around how our region is doing in terms of peace and security and currently we are stable as a region politically,” Tax said.

Tax added, however, that there were challenges, including high unemployment rates and climate change, being experienced in the region, which pose a threat to peace and security.

“We have challenges as you have seen around climate change, youth unemployment, and a number of other tensions which need to be addressed.

“When we talk about peace and security, we don’t just talk about war, we look at socio-economic and political environment holistically because if some areas are not addressed they can impact negatively on our peace and security as a region,” Tax said.

This comes as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) recently held the sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Victoria Falls, where delegates expressed the urgent need to deal with climate change and silence the guns in Africa in a bid to achieve agenda 2030 and 2063.

This also comes after the executive secretary of Uneca, Vera Songwe, recently revealed that addressing climate change was key to maintaining peace, security and sustainable development in Africa, as the continent is currently losing 15 percent of its GDP to the effects of climate change.

“What we have estimated with the World and the International Monetary fund is that Africa is currently losing 15 percent of its GDP to the effects of climate change.

“That is the pressure that we have in front of us as we talk about climate change. We need to say how can we make sure we don’t lose 15 percent of the GDP, because that percentage could be used to close the US$3 trillion financing gap to fulfil the SDGs,” Songwe said.

“Climate change is linked with the SDGs we are trying to attain by 2030. We can put kids in school and educate them but if we don’t deal with the effects of climate change the kids will have nothing to do when they finish school or they will be so hungry and sick because they don’t have access to clean water,” she added.

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