Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, has urged his colleagues,  world mayors,  to support the call by Pope Francis for a “bold agreement that confines global warming to a limit safe for humanity.”


The Pope told the mayors that he wanted the United Nations to focus more on human trafficking and that they had to deal with it.


The declaration was made when the Pope invited 65 mayors from Africa, South America, the United States and Asia for a two-day conference at the Vatican last week, to discuss how cities could address the “interconnected emergencies” of Climate Change and Human Trafficking.


In a communiqué issued after the two-day meeting and copied to the Ghana News Agency,  Dr Vanderpuije said: “It is clear that we, as mayors, have the tools and the capacity to mobilize communities at the grassroots level, including the poorest of the poor.  Let’s use them boldly to implement the call by his Holiness.”


The declaration seeks to call on the international community to intensify efforts to fight global warming ahead of the Paris Climate talks in December, this year and to put pressure on the United Nations to consider modern slavery and human trafficking as a crime against humanity.


The Pope recounted his experiences not only in dealing with natural catastrophes, but also his sustained commitment that laid the foundation for medium and long-term development.


He called for the strengthening of measures that needed to be put in place in order to mitigate the impact of similar emergencies in the future.


“City authorities must ensure that early warning systems are place to alert people about impending rains that appropriately covered drainage systems are constructed and lagoon and other water bodies with channels into the sea must always be dragged,” he said.


Dr Vanderpuije emphasized his commitment to medium and long-term development, including the provision of good quality education, ensuring balanced development in urban and rural communities,  and creating opportunities for skills development programmes for the youth.


Dr Vanderpuije led a delegation of board members of the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent.


The highlight of the conference was an audience with Pope Francis, during which he expressed concerns about the increasing poverty plaguing cities, brought about by climate change, and that had brought untold sufferings to poor people.


Dr Djibril Diallo, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS said: “I am proud to tell you that we have just met our goals of 15 million on treatment by 2015, which is six months ahead of the headline of the Millennium Development Goals.”


Source: GNA

Created: 31 July 2015
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