Pirc Musar stresses importance of food security at COP28

Dubai, 3 December - President Nataša Pirc Musar stressed the importance of water in mitigating climate change at the UN Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai on Saturday. On Sunday, the last day of her stay, she spoke about the importance of food security. She also met Slovenians living or working in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai, UAE
Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar addressing the UN's climate conference COP28.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Pirc Musar was the keynote speaker at the conference's accompanying event on efforts to address malnutrition and climate change, co-hosted by Slovenia and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Some 345 million people in 79 countries are suffering from the food crisis, the president's office said in a press release. "If we do not protect the climate, we cannot feed people and prevent more and more conflicts. The various conflicts around the world are a stark reminder that the environment and food should never be used as weapons. The international community must condemn and sanction such attempts in the strongest possible terms - and above all, prevent them," the president was quoted as saying.

Slovenia, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2024-2025, will put climate security at the top of its agenda, including food security, and will continue to respond to the growing humanitarian needs, Pirc Musar said. She noted Slovenia recently increased fivefold the financial support for food security.

The president highlighted beekeeping as an excellent example of a holistic approach to ecosystems, food and peace, as it is a uniquely successful means of empowering vulnerable social groups in fragile and conflict-affected areas. She also mentioned Slovenia's largest development project in history, which will help communities in fragile cross-border areas in Africa to adapt to climate change through ecosystem restoration and beekeeping.

The president met with the Slovenian community in the United Arab Emirates at a reception hosted by Ambassador Natalia Al Mansour. She expressed her joy that Slovenians in the United Arab Emirates are connecting with each other and have established an association, which is also one of their links with the motherland.

She was also impressed by the large number of children attending supplementary classes in Slovenian language and culture - organised in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by the Slovenian Embassy in cooperation with the Education Ministry and the Office for Slovenians Abroad.

On Saturday, Pirc Musar participated in a side event where leaders discussed how to accelerate action on water and climate, her office said. Slovenia is recognised globally as one of the few countries that has the right to clean water enshrined in its constitution, and the president stressed that water should be accessible to all. "By accelerating action on water, we are accelerating climate action," she said.

"Our scientific and technological solutions serve to improve water security, protect water resources and ecosystems, and improve the resilience of water infrastructure," she said. She presented some examples of good practice, including the use of artificial intelligence, the use of satellite technology to foster cross-border cooperation, and the use of remote sensing for highly reliable flood forecasting and an early warning system in trans-boundary river basins.

© STA, 2023