|09MONROVIA936||2009-12-16 17:34:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Monrovia|
VZCZCXRO8065 PP RUEHMA RUEHPA DE RUEHMV #0936 3501734 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 161734Z DEC 09 FM AMEMBASSY MONROVIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1519 INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0113
UNCLAS MONROVIA 000936
1. Following is the text of a letter from President Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf to Secretary Clinton on the Liberian President's views on
climate change and gender, and on U.S. leadership on addressing
climate change. The letter came under cover of a dipnote dated
December 15 and received at U.S. Embassy Monrovia on December 16.
2. BEGIN TEXT
December 14, 2009
Dear Secretary Clinton,
I am writing to you in recognition of the special ties that link my
country to yours; the hopes I place in your work for fair,
ambitious, and binding global climate deal and your longstanding
commitment to gender equality around the world.
While the outcome at Copenhagen will affect Liberians, Americans and
indeed all citizens of the world, those who are and will be most
vulnerable to climate change are women and children in the poorest
I have experienced firsthand the dignity and courage of women as
agents and drivers for change in my own country. They played
integral roles in promoting peace, advocating for reconciliation,
and ending the war. My country and I are indebted to them. As
such, I would like to share some key facts with you which I feel
should be a critical input to the negotiations:
-- Climate change exacerbates gender inequalities. Of the
approximately 500 million people at extreme risk of climate
change-related displacements and political and social upheavals,
over 75% are women and children from the poorest countries.
-- Increased vulnerability is predicted for millions of smallholder
farmers in Africa, "70-80 percent of whom are women. As women are
also largely responsible for water collection and often serve as the
primary caretaker in household, their burden will increase
-- Women are more vulnerable to climate related displacement and
conflict, representing the majority of climate displaced people.
This vulnerability and inequality often relegates women to the worst
paid, least regulated jobs and can place them at higher risk of
Allow me to also express appreciation for the US Administration's
impressive efforts to keep negotiations as ambitious as possible. I
admire the courage and political acumen in negotiating for a binding
global deal in Copenhagen while respecting the authority of Congress
to seal the final outcome.
In a world, where leaders have the responsibility to ensure that the
voices of the most vulnerable are heard, and no single nation can
unilaterally avert the climate crisis, the US has a unique
opportunity to step up its role to champion the climate cause for
all-rich and poor, men and women alike.
Nation states are looking to the US for leadership. The US emphasis
and prioritization of climate justice through a fair, biding and
ambitious deal sends a powerful signal to the rest of the world and
builds trust. This will allow everyone to go much further than they
otherwise would, bringing home victory for all.
I thank you for our leadership in advancing the cause of the world's
most vulnerable, and wish you and your team much success in
Copenhagen in the coming days.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Cc: Ms. Huma Abedin, Senior Advisor to Secretary of State
Ms. Melanne Veveer, Ambassador at large for Global
3. Post will forward original letter via registered pouch to AF/W,
reg. no. 8621298.