Friday, February 01, 2008

UN Report On Activities In Relation to Climate Change

Jan 28: The United Nations Secretary-General has released a 52-page report entitled, Overview of United Nations Activities in Relation to Climate Change. The report was prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/8 of November 19, 2007, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit, by January 25, 2008, a comprehensive report providing an overview of the activities of the United Nations system in relation to climate change.

According to the report summary, it provides a preliminary overview of the current climate change activities of the United Nations and an indication of the way forward. It contains the results, as of now, of extensive consultations within the Chief Executives Board and its High-level Committee on Programmes. Annex I to the report provides an overview of current United Nations system activities on climate change organized by key areas. Annex II contains a more forward-looking paper entitled “Coordinated United Nations system action on climate change”. Annex II, in particular, is the outcome of extensive consultations among all relevant United Nations system entities on a common approach. It exemplifies the system’s commitment to strengthening and coordinating its work under the four main areas under intergovernmental discussion, namely, adaptation, mitigation, technology and financing, in support of the efforts of Member States to implement existing and future agreements. The report provides extensive and detailed insights into the UN involvement in the issue.

In the Annex II section on Financing, the report indicates that, "Global investments in the magnitude of from $15 trillion to $20 trillion United States dollars may be required over the next 20-25 years to place the world on a markedly different and sustainable energy trajectory. If investment choices are based on solid economic rationale and sound scientific evidence, valuing true costs, they can unlock huge change potential. The high-level event stressed the need to provide developing countries with additional resources for investment and capacity building. While the bulk of investment will come from government and the private sector, the United Nations system can support countries to make choices based on sound scientific and technical criteria. It will become essential to coordinate access and utilize available resources, as the proliferation of funding mechanisms can lead to fragmentation and loss of coherence and effectiveness."

The report concludes, in a section titled, The Way Forward, "The international community acknowledges the United Nations as being the multilateral framework for establishing a post-2012 climate regime, and a source of multisectoral and sectoral support... As a global problem, climate change demands a collective international response. The United Nations commands the ability to support such a response on the basis of a strategic vision, setting out common goals and objectives, assigned roles for United Nations entities and strengthened mechanisms for collaboration. Such a strategy, which should be developed within the Chief Executives Board, would also ensure that future climate programmes of individual agencies in their area of comparative advantage are developed in collaboration within a broader framework and in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process."

The report forms part of the background for an up-coming General Assembly "thematic debate" on climate change. The UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim will convene the thematic debate entitled "Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at Work " on February 11 and 12, 2008, at UN Headquarters in New York. Two interactive panel discussions will take place on February 11: Rising to the Challenge: Partnerships on Climate Change; and Responding to a Multifaceted Challenge: The UN at Work. On February 12, 2008, there will be a discussion open to all in which Member States will make statements.

Access the complete UN report (
click here). Access extensive information on the upcoming thematic debate on climate change (click here). [*Climate]

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