During an event on ‘South-South Climate Cooperation in Support of the SDGs,’ participants noted the challenges of accessing finance to achieve the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
The event was organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation on the sidelines of the 6th Biennial High-level Meeting of the UN Development Cooperation Forum.
A High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) is scheduled to convene in March 2019, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
21 May 2018: Governments, UN organizations and stakeholders discussed the importance of South-South cooperation to achieve the SDGs and address climate change, in a meeting on the sidelines of the 2018 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). Participants noted the challenges of accessing finance to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, adding that South-South cooperation should not replace multilateral efforts to tackle climate change, nor North-South cooperation.
The side event titled, ‘South-South Climate Cooperation in Support of the SDGs,’ was organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) during the Sixth Biennial High-level Meeting of the DCF, which is convening from 21-22 May 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.
Opening the side event, Jorge Chediek, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and UNOSSC Director, highlighted the UN Action Plan on South-South Climate Cooperation (2017-2021), which was adopted by UN principals as a substantive pillar to support the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Engagement Strategy.
Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), remarked that countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as China, Japan and India, have progressively institutionalized South-South cooperation to support climate change action and its financing. Providing examples of South-South cooperation and of climate change initiatives, she mentioned the Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2018 (APCW 2018) convening in Singapore in July 2018, the Asian and the Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) and the China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture.
Mexico is part of the ‘Carbon Pricing in the Americas’ initiative, a cooperation platform on carbon pricing among jurisdictions.
Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative of the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), reported that South-South cooperation is the “most important source of finance” his country has received since 1997. Agustín García López, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation (AMEXCID), said Mexico was the second country in the world to adopt a climate change law, and the law was amended recently to align with the Paris Agreement on climate change. He added that Mexico is part of the ‘Carbon Pricing in the Americas’ initiative that serves as a cooperation platform on carbon pricing among jurisdictions.
Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh is among the countries most vulnerable to extreme events due to climate change, while it is among the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world. He added that Bangladesh is hosting 1.1 million refugees. Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan, indicated that a High-Level International Conference on International Decade for Action ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ 2018-2028 will take place in June 2018 in Tajikistan. Uganda said its development plan incorporates the SDGs, including SDG 13 on climate action. He indicated that his country has developed a national-level climate change policy, and worked with African countries to harmonize that policy.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reported that it has embedded the SDGs in its strategic framework. On strategic partnerships, IFAD noted: a bilateral funding facility with China targeted at mobilizing knowledge, expertise and resources particularly on agriculture and development; and the mobilization of expertise, from Brazil in particular, to support knowledge sharing and management in African countries.
The UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) stressed access to finance, lack of accurate data on climate change and lack of climate change adaptation methodology as challenges faced by vulnerable countries. She said her office, with the support of other partners, ran the ‘Voices of a Brighter Future’ journalistic competition in February and March 2018 to encourage a transition towards sustainable energy in least developed countries (LDCs).
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) said it supports countries in implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in ensuring their alignment with the SDGs through its NDC Support Programme. She noted the need to explore ways to leverage access to private finance, and to enhance knowledge sharing, adding that UNDP is involved in the organization of regional dialogues on NDC implementation.
The 6th Biennial High-level Meeting of the DCF considers the theme ‘The Strategic Role of Development Cooperation in Achieving the 2030 Agenda: Building Sustainable and Resilient Societies.’ The DCF is a multi-stakeholder platform for policy dialogue on development cooperation, under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Forum reviews trends and progress in international development cooperation, and seeks to advance global policy dialogue on key development cooperation issues. Its key findings and recommendations are expected to feed into the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), as well as the UN’s follow-up process on financing for development, and the Second High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), which is scheduled to convene in March 2019, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Side event concept note] [6th Biennial High-level Meeting of the DCF website] [DCF list of side events]