Egypt’s President Abdel El-sisi on Monday called for an end to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
“Please allow me to say this in all respect, this war must stop; this war and the suffering it has caused must finish. This is a sincere appeal,” he said.
Mr El-sisi made this appeal while delivering his welcome speech during the leaders’ summit at the ongoing 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
“Of course, we must act, we are urged to act and much is expected from us because the crisis shakes the entire world,” he noted.
He noted that Egypt, which is not one of the strongest economically, suffered greatly from the covid pandemic over two years and is again suffering due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
“This is an unnecessary war. I imagine of course that the entire world is suffering because of the war between Russia and Ukraine and so I would like to appeal to you,” Mr El-sisi appealed.
He added; “it is not that I want to play a particular role in this affair but of course, like many others, I’m ready to act to ensure the end of this war and I am sure that many of you share my opinion and I believe that all of us believe that we must put an end to this war.”
Russia and Ukraine have been at war since 24 February when Russia attacked Ukraine, its neighbour with claims of denazification.
257 days later, the war has continued with over 14 million people displaced; children out of school including Nigerian students; Ukraine is currently out of power supply in some regions.
15 per cent of Ukraine’s territory was annexed by Russia; until August, grain exportation was cut off, plunging most of the developing world into a food crisis. The war has also led to an unprecedented energy crisis in Europe.
UN chief, Antonio Guterres, in a passive reaction to Mr El-sis who spoke before him, said indeed the war in Ukraine and other conflicts have caused so much bloodshed, violence and dramatic impacts all over the world, “we cannot accept that our attention is not focused on climate change.”
“We must of course work together to support peace efforts and end tremendous suffering but climate change is on a different timeline and a different scale. It is a defining issue of our age,” he said.
Climate change, Mr Guterres noted, is a central challenge of our century, adding that it is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.
He said many of today’s conflicts are linked with growing climate chaos and the war in Ukraine has exposed the profound risks of our fossil fuel addiction and today’s crisis cannot be an excuse for backsliding or greenwashing.
“If anything, there are reasons for greater urgency, stronger actions and effective accountability,” he said.
Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?
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