The ASEAN leaders met in conjunction with the World Bank and IMF annual meetings.
The leaders discussed actions and solutions with regard to climate change, inequalities, technological disruption and trade tensions.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged ASEAN governments to “do all you can to resolve the sticking points” ahead of COP 24, in order to agree on the implementation guidelines for operationalizing the Paris Agreement.
11 October 2018: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted inequality and climate change as areas of particular concern in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in his remarks to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Gathering. Participating leaders expressed their commitment to “multilateral collaboration” to achieve the SDGs and overcome development gaps.
The ASEAN leaders met in Bali, Indonesia, on 11 October 2018, in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings. The gathering was co-chaired by the Heads of State of Indonesia and Singapore. The leaders discussed actions and solutions with regard to climate change, inequalities, technological disruption and trade tensions.
Guterres, commenting on inequality, said that strategies to eradicate poverty and ensure inclusive development must include: improving access to quality education and health care; reforming the tax system, both for greater equity and to enable it to maximize revenues for sustainable development investments; enhancing access to labor markets, strong social protection schemes and harnessing the “rich diversity and demographic dividend” of ASEAN youth; and gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Unprecedented changes will be required in order to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
On climate change, the Secretary-General noted that four members of ASEAN – Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam – are among the ten countries most affected by climate change worldwide. He said that while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15) shows that “climate change is running faster than we are,” it is still possible to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C. In order to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050, he said “unprecedented changes” will be required, including: ending deforestation and planting billions of trees; drastically reducing fossil fuel use and phasing out coal by 2050; accelerating installation of wind and solar power; ensuring greater investments in climate-friendly sustainable agriculture; and utilizing carbon capture and storage (CCS) among other technological options.
Guterres urged ASEAN governments to “do all you can to resolve the sticking points” ahead of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018, in order to agree on the implementation guidelines for operationalizing the Paris Agreement on climate change: “this is a must.” He also highlighted the ASEAN-UN Action Plan on Environment and Climate Change.
The Katowice Climate Change Conference will convene from 3-14 December. The WB-IMF meetings were held in Bali, Indonesia, from 12-14 October 2018. [ASEAN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General’s Remarks]