Oxfam will be engaging on many themes at the UN General Assembly this year across the climate crisis; the SDGs with a focus on inequality; education; financing for development and the role of the private sector; as well as humanitarian crises including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan. We will issue reactions to the Climate Action Summit, select Heads of State speeches, and will be issuing remarks and other materials connected to high-level events – highlights here and full details below.
This year at UNGA, Oxfam will be focusing on the Climate Crisis, with participation in the People’s Climate Summit, the Climate Strikes, the Climate Action Summit and more. We are publishing a media brief on Monday, September 23 that focuses on how countries which contribute the least to the climate crisis are left without resources to respond or prepare for disasters, with a focus on Mozambique and Somalia. Embargoed brief available upon request. Spokespeople include Oxfam experts as well as partners from Somalia and Mozambique who are in New York. Quotes from Oxfam leaders and partners and further details of our engagement below. Oxfam will react to the outcome of the Climate Action Summit.
Statements and Reactions:
Oxfam will be issuing a joint Civil Society Statement on Yemen and comments from Oxfam leadership on the Future of Work, Education, the Private Sector, and Reactions to the Climate Action Summit, Heads of State Speeches, and more.
Oxfam and Partner Spokespeople and areas of focus:
- Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International: Climate, Inequality, SDGs, Future of Work, Education, Health
- Abby Maxman, President and CEO, Oxfam America: Climate, Inequality, SDGs, Private Sector, Financing for Development, Humanitarian Crises,
- Katia Maia, Executive Director, Oxfam Brazil: Climate
- Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO, Oxfam Great Britain: Climate, Inequality, SDGs
- Sasanka Thilakasiri, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change & Energy, Oxfam America: Climate Action Summit Lead
- Tariq Ahmad, Senior Policy Manager, Aid & Development Finance, Power & Money, Oxfam America: Financing for Development
- Max Lawson, Head of Inequality Policy, Oxfam International: Inequality
- Kathryn Achilles, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Oxfam International: Humanitarian High-Level Events on Yemen, Syria, South Sudan
- Kira Boe, Educational Policy Lead, Oxfam IBIS: Education
- Uwe Gneiting, Senior Private Sector Researcher, Oxfam America: Private Sector
- Vittorio Infante, Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor: Climate and Humanitarian Response in Mozambique
- Halima Adan, Deputy Director with Oxfam partner organisation, Save Somali Women and Children: Climate crisis, Women’s Rights, Humanitarian Situation in Somalia
- Jose Mucote, Founder of the Mozambican humanitarian organization AJOAGO: Climate Crisis and Humanitarian Situation in Mozambique
Friday, September 20 Climate Strike: Oxfam will be joining in New York with staff, allies and partners Halima Adan from Somalia and José Mucote from Mozambique. They are available for interview to share their experiences on the frontlines—experiencing and responding to the climate crises of cyclones and drought this year alone. Quotes from Oxfam leaders and partners showing support are below.
Sunday, September 22 Climate and Clean Air Coalition High-Level (Ministerial) Assembly: Oxfam is participating in an event focused on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, like Black Carbon and Methane.
Monday, September 23 Climate Action Summit: Oxfam is calling on leaders of wealthier nations to meet their 2020 climate finance commitment, including doubling their contributions to the Green Climate Fund, and to ensure more climate finance is directed towards adaptation in the least developed countries. Oxfam will issue a reaction to the Summit.
Monday, September 23: Oxfam media brief “Who Takes the Heat?” People living in the poorest countries are not receiving the resources they need to protect themselves from the devastating impacts of climate change. Oxfam staff and our partners and co-authors, Halima Adan from Somalia and José Mucote from Mozambique are available for interview. Embargoed release and report available.
Tuesday, September 24: The Global Commission on Adaptation is meeting on the side lines of the Summit. Co-chaired by Winnie Byanyima, this UN-appointed body is deciding what the world should do to prepare for climate impacts that are already being felt today - most acutely by women of color in poor communities in the global South.
Climate Strike Quotes:
Abby Maxman, President of Oxfam America: “Oxfam works with the world’s most vulnerable communities impacted by climate change, disasters, and poverty every day. Ending the injustice of poverty means fighting climate change head-on. At the Climate Action Summit and in the months ahead, Oxfam will continue to work with young leaders and other partners to push for bold change and significant measures to be taken by governments, business leaders, and individuals, demanding that those most capable of addressing the climate crisis move ambitiously, so these young leaders and other future generations will have a fairer society, secured rights, and a healthy planet to call home.
“The climate crisis is the greatest existential threat to humankind, affecting people in every corner of the world. But the impacts are not the same for everyone: women, the poorest and the most marginalised face the worst effects, despite having done the least to cause the crisis. The future prospects of young people around the world are being stolen from them.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International: “We at Oxfam support the global youth climate strikes because action by world leaders to confront the climate emergency is criminally insufficient. Our broken economic system allows the rich and powerful to extract most of the planet's wealth and resources, worsening poverty and inequality for billions of people who have contributed nothing to the crisis. While the planet burns, and inequality and poverty spiral away - we must act now.”
Halima Adan, Deputy Director with Save Somali Women and Children:
“I am joining the Climate Strike in New York to represent the people of Somalia, who are facing the reality of starvation, having their livelihoods destroyed by the third failure of the seasonal rains in a row. Another humanitarian crisis is quickly unfolding again barely two years after the 2017 drought; The urgent needs and solutions in places like Somalia must be heard. This activism gives me hope but we are running out of time - We are demanding climate justice and we must act now.”
Halima Adan, based in Mogadishu for over 10 years, is an aid specialist working across the humanitarian, peace and development nexus, with a primary focus on women’s empowerment, in some of the most difficult to reach parts of Somalia. Formerly on the UN’s Humanitarian Country Team helping to create and improve strategic and operational decision-making and oversight, and currently co-chairing the Steering Committee for the Somalia NGO Consortium and Gender-based Violence Working Group, Halima is a proven influencer. As a key member of the Somalia Debt Cancellation Working Group, Halima is attending the Spring Meetings to push the case for expedited, full debt cancellation for Somalia, as a key enabler for peace, development and poverty alleviation, the lack of which Halima sees causing injustice for millions of Somalis, particularly women and children.
Jose Mucote, founder of the Mozambican humanitarian organization AJOAGO:
"I have come from Mozambique to join the climate strike in NY to bring the voice of the people who year after year see their poverty and vulnerability grow due to cycles of disasters of growing intensity, that devastate their homes, social infrastructure and fields. These populations are not receiving the resources they need to prepare and respond to the climate crisis. They feel marginalized and unjustly condemned by the world's largest polluters. I am here to portray the suffering and feelings of the people who are being denied their right to a dignified life by industrialized nations."
José Mucote set up AJOAGO after flooding hit Govuro district in Inhambane, southern Mozambique, in 2000. AJOAGO was among the first responders to the devastation of Cyclone Idai in Sofala in March 2019. As one of Oxfam’s humanitarian local partners they were able to mobilise quickly because of their investments in preparedness and anticipation of a natural disaster. The organisation’s work in Disaster Risk Reduction spans across the south and the central regions (Inhambane, Sofala) and it includes collaboration with local government authorities on training local DRR committees and with national authorities on river monitoring systems to track flooding. AJOAGO has also set up a community radio station as an early warning mechanism.
Other key events and priorities
- Monday, September 23, Winnie Byanyima will speak at High-Level Events on Universal Health Coverage and the Future of Work.
- Tuesday, September 25, Oxfam has events tied to UN Education Day. Our recent report showed that poor children are 7 times less likely to finish school than rich children.
- Oxfam staff will speak at and attend a series of events on Financing for Development and the Private Sector.