In a momentous move, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented the Climate Justice Forum (CJF) at COP28, in Dubai, UAE today (02) emphasizing the critical importance of addressing climate issues with a sense of justice and equity.
The President was joined by prominent figures such as the former President of Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, the Minister of Health of Uganda, Dr. Aceng Jane Ruth and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Anderson.
Addressing the launch, President Wickremesinghe conveyed that the resolution of the Climate Justice Forum will be formally presented at the United Nations. He described the CJF as an initial step to secure unwavering commitment from all parties involved in the collective effort. President Wickremesinghe underscored that the scope of contribution extends beyond the capabilities of countries alone, emphasizing the significant role private entities can play. Furthermore, the President drew attention to the allocation of funds, noting that more financial resources are directed towards the war in Ukraine and the bombing of Gaza compared to what has been allocated for the Loss and Damages fund.
The President extended invitations to other concerned nations to join this initiative, presenting it as a viable solution to the increased threat of climate change. Furthermore the President has formally requested the collaboration and cooperation of esteemed organizations such as UNEP, UNDP and the EU to engage with interested countries in advancing the pioneering initiatives presented by Sri Lanka.
Ms. Anderson, in her address at the launch, emphasized the growing disparity between the necessary actions and the current efforts in the battle against climate change. She welcomed the Climate Justice Forum, asserting that it will serve as a potent force in unifying nations for this collective endeavour.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, addressing the gathering, advocated for cooperation and solidarity in tackling global challenges. The Minister asserted that initiatives such as the Climate Justice Forum, orchestrated today, will significantly influence the future trajectory of the planet.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry, remarked at the event that despite on-going discussions, viable solutions to the climate crisis are not currently emerging. Consequently, the Minister stated that the Climate Justice Forum initiative will be integrated into Sri Lanka’s foreign policy, aiming to exert influence on the global stage for a sustainable future.
The Minister of Health of Uganda, Dr. Aceng Jane Ruth, welcomed the initiative, describing it as a potential trend-setter that will help lead the fight against climate change.
The President was joined by the Minister of Power and Energy Mr. Kanchana Wijesekara, Members of Parliament, including Mr. Champika Ranawaka, Mr. Madhura Vithanage, Mr. Ajith Mannapperuma and Mr. M. Rameshwaren. While Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change, Mr. Ruwan Wijewardena, Advisor to the President on the Environment, Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Advisor to the Treasury Deshal de Mel, Director of International Affairs Dinouk Colombage and Private Secretary to the President Sandra Perera attended the event.