UN Second Committee Considers Report of the UNFCCC Executive Secretary
story highlights

27 October 2008: The Second Committee of the UN General Assembly considered, on 27 October 2008, the Secretary-General’s note on Implementation of UN environmental conventions, transmitting the report submitted by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and the report of the Secretary-General on implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the outcome […]

UN General Assembly 27 October 2008: The Second Committee of the UN General
Assembly considered, on 27 October 2008, the Secretary-General’s note on
Implementation of UN environmental conventions, transmitting the report
submitted by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and the report of the
Secretary-General on implementation of the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification (UNCCD) and the outcome of the observance of the International
Year of Deserts and Desertification (Document A/63/294).

The document reports
on the work of the UN Climate Change Conference, which took place in Bali,
Indonesia, in December 2007, and its follow-up. In particular, the report
includes a summary of the outcomes of the thirteenth session of the Conference
of the Parties (COP13) to the Convention and the third session of the COP serving
as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, as well as of the joint
high-level segment of COP13 and the third session of the COP serving as the
Meeting of the States Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
The Report recommends that
the General Assembly: take note of the report of the UNFCCC Executive Secretary
and the outcomes of COP13 and the third session of the COP to the Convention
serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol; pledge its support
to the negotiating processes established by the Bali road map; and invite the
Executive Secretary to continue to report to it on the work of the Conference.
Introducing the report, Yvo De Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, noted progress
achieved at the August negotiating session on climate change in Accra, Ghana,
but stressed the importance for States parties to “move into the next stage of
negotiations” at and after the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland,
scheduled to take place in December 2008. He underlined that “an enormous amount
of work needed to be covered” for the 2009 Copenhagen conference to “work well”
and be “truly ambitious.”
To agree on this ambitious deal, he outlined the need
for clarity on: the nature of commitments; how to mobilize the necessary
financial resources for adaptation and mitigation; and the institutional
arrangements needed to deliver on both adaptation and mitigation. Noting that
investments in clean energy had proven to offer long-term returns, he stated
that the financial crisis was no excuse to delay action. In his report on
implementing the UNCCD, the Secretary-General recommends that the General
Assembly underline the importance of the Convention when addressing climate
change issues, and envisage that the post-Kyoto arrangement duly takes into account
the potential of land not only as a carbon storage reservoir, but that the
sustainable management of land contributes to adapting to climate change,
mitigating its effects and strengthening the resilience of affected developing
countries. Introducing the report, Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary,
noted that research shows that by 2050, half of the world’s arable land will no
longer be productive due to desertification.
He underlined the role soil can
play in addressing climate change, and urged States to focus on both land and
climate change to address it. He explained that the report outlines concrete
actions aimed at delivery of the joint strategic objectives of the three Rio
Conventions, namely: raising public awareness; creating capacities;
contributing to the improvement of the global environment; and fostering strong
scientific backing for sustainable policies derived from their implementation.
The Committee also considered the Secretary-General’s report on the Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (document A/63/351), which in light of climate change and other factors, stresses the need to scale up efforts and resources for implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. A number of speakers noted the urgency of acting on disaster risk reduction, including as a tool for climate change adaptation.
The Second Committee is scheduled to conclude its debate on sustainable
development on 28 October 2008. [The Report] [UN Press Release]

related posts