The Kingdom of Morocco will host the Africa Regional coordination Unit of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), a Press statement from the body said yesterday. This will provide the secretariat with vital support services that the Parties to the Convention need to effectively implement the Convention in Africa.
The announcement was made Monday, 14 November 2016 by Mr. Abdeladim Lhafi, Morocco’s High Commissioner for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification and Commissioner of the 22nd session of Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Conference (COP22), currently under way in Marrakesh.
“Africa is experiencing some of the severest droughts in the world that are increasing in frequency and spreading to new areas, and requires a strong Regional Coordination Unit. I am sure that with the help of the Moroccan Authorities, and by drawing on their knowledge and expertise in this subject, we will have a very effective Regional Coordination Unit,” said Ms. Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, when accepting the offer.
Mr. Lhafi added that “in response to the Executive Secretary’s invitation of May 2014 to African governments to submit proposals to host the regional coordination unit in conformity with the appropriate conditions and comparable to other regional coordination units, Morocco presented its offer during the 12th session of the [UNCCD] Conference of the Parties in October 2015 in Ankara. Morocco’s offer was also favorably received following informal consultations during the 15th session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15), which was held from 17-20 October 2016 in Nairobi.”
The Convention has five regional implementation annexes that provide a coordinated regional approach both in tackling desertification and drought effectively and in mobilizing all the relevant stakeholders to take actions to implement the Convention.
The Convention’s other regional coordination units are based in Thailand, for the Asia region, Chile, for the Latin America and Caribbean region, Turkey, for the Northern Mediterranean region, and in Germany, for the Central and Eastern European countries.