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UN Chief in Cabo Verde "Ambition 2030 Must be Translated into Reality"

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at The Ocean Race Summit Mindelo, 23 January 2023 © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

By: George Baumgarten

The archipelago of just ten small, volcanic islands sits off the northwest corner of Africa, like a handful of grains dropped from a saltshaker. To North Americans, it is most famous—or notorious—as the spawning-ground of our hurricanes…which then charge across the wide Atlantic.

A former Portuguese Colony, Cabo Verde gained its independence through the efforts of a liberation struggle founded jointly with that of the continental West African republic of Guinea-Bissau. Its political party was known as the Partido Africano para a Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde (i.e., African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde), and was founded by Henri Labery and Amilcar Cabral, the leader who was assassinated in 1973.

But the recent visit of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is certainly the most important event to gave taken place in the island republic., and naturally garnered an inordinate and unusual amount of world media attention.

Guterres has in fact been to Cabo Verde before, several decades ago, while Prime Minister of Portugal. He made a particular point of highlighting his experiences then, and his respecting of and honoring of the Cape Verde/Guinea Bissau struggle for independence.

Guterres was in Cabo Verde this time primarily for the “Mindelo Ocean Summit”. But he particularly lauded the country and its government for their efforts to champion peace and justice, as well as for its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty by 2026. And he mentioned it as a country on the very front lines of the climate crisis, particularly with is severe drought, citing the intended 1.5 degree limit.

The Secretary-General cited Cabo Verde as one of those numerous countries who did little—if anything—to cause the Climate Crisis, but is one of those most suffering from it. He particularly mentioned the country’s “Ambition 2030” development strategy. That ambition, he said, must be translated into reality.

In view of all of the above, the Secretary-General told how he was particularly grateful to have committed partners like the Republic of Cabo Verde.

George Baumgarten is a UN Correspondent and contributor to Jewish Newspapers in North America © Copyright 2023 George Alan Baumgarten


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