Monthly Forecast September 2019: A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win
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The “Summit Week” in New York, US, at the end of the month is expected to chart the course for the rest of the year and into 2020.

The month opens with a two-week meeting of UNCCD COP 14, which is expected to assess progress under the UNCCD Strategic Framework.

The key gatherings taking place during the UN General Assembly annual high-level General Debate include the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September and the SDG Summit on 24 September.

With school back in session and agendas quickly filling up after the late Northern summer hiatus, September is often one of the busiest months, and this year is no exception. High-level meetings are taking place throughout September, and the “Summit Week” at the end of the month is expected to chart the course for the rest of the year and into 2020.

The month opens with a two-week meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which is expected to assess progress under the UNCCD Strategic Framework. This Framework seeks to align the Convention’s goals with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other goals. In conjunction with the COP, the Global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land, a formal constituency to the UNCCD will convene a Desertification Youth Forum to discuss the youth perspective. Read curtain raisers for UNCCD COP 14 by the SDG Knowledge Hub here and Earth Negotiations Bulletin here.

In parallel with COP 14, Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2019 with convene in Bangkok, Thailand, concluding the annual Regional Climate Week series, organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP). Like its counterpart events in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the 2019 Week is expected to result in a set of recommendations for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit taking place later this month.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will convene from 20-23 September to discuss the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in Changing Climate (SROCC), which evaluates the ways climate change will affect the ocean and marine life, as well as areas where water is found in its solid state, for example in polar or high-mountain regions. The report will inform future climate policies, and, more immediately, influence the Climate Action Summit and feed into negotiations during the Santiago Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 25) in December 2019.

The 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) will open on 17 September. The annual high-level General Debate opens on Tuesday, 24 September, making it one of several high-level events that have turned the usual “UNGA week” into a much fuller “Summit Week.” The key gatherings include:

Arguably the biggest climate event of the year, the Climate Action Summit is expected to “mobilize political and economic energy at the highest levels” to advance climate action and implementation of SDG 13 (climate action) and many other Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The high-level gathering themed, ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win,’ is the highlight of Climate Week NYC 2019, and will contribute to COP 25. Read the SDG Knowledge Hub curtain raiser for the Summit here.

In parallel, several forestry, mountain and land-related meetings will convene, with many also addressing the impacts of climate change. Shortly after the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and as part of the Climate Week NYC 2019, the Global Landscapes Forum will provide an opportunity to advance new action coalitions for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. On forestry, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will hold the 30th session of the North American Forestry Commission and the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission. These region-specific meetings convene every two years, and serve as a technical forum for countries to address forest issues. Also in Latin America, the 25th International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) World Congress 2019 will address the theme, ‘Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development.’ Finally, the International Mountain Conference 2019 will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, to encourage in-depth cross-disciplinary discussions towards a new understanding of mountain systems, their vulnerabilities to climate change and adaptation strategies.

Ahead of the Summit Week, the SDG Knowledge Hub will publish another policy brief focusing on the expected takeaways from the high-level events taking place from 23-27 September.

In September, IISD Reporting Services will have teams on the ground providing coverage of UNCCD COP 14, the 51st session of the IPCC, the UN Summit Week and many other important events. At the SDG Knowledge Hub, we look forward to keeping you informed of these and other developments in a concise, timely and reader-friendly manner.

Lauren Anderson, Elena Kosolapova, Faye Leone


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