15 February 2008
UNGA Climate Change Event Focuses on Post-Bali Talks and Partnerships
story highlights

The need for a global agreement on climate change for the post-2012 period, the importance of collaborative partnerships, and the role of the United Nations system were the focus of discussions during a three-day “thematic debate” in the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The event, which met at UN headquarters in New York, US, from 11-13 February 2008, took as its theme: “Addressing climate change: the United Nations and the world at work.”

meeting, which went one day longer than originally scheduled, drew more
than 100 high-level speakers from governments, the UN, the private
sector, non-governmental organizations, the media, and other key
stakeholders. The event opened with statements from UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim,
and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Secretary-General Ban
stressed the priority of reaching a global agreement by the end of 2009
to limit greenhouse gas emissions. “A deal in Copenhagen, on time, and
in full, is my priority and that of all the Funds, Programmes and
Agencies of the United Nations family,” he said, referring to the UN
Climate Change Conference scheduled to take place in Denmark from 30
November to 11 December 2009.
the first day, participants held high-level panel discussions focused
on partnerships and on the work of the United Nations. At the
conclusion of the first day’s sessions, Yvo de Boer, Executive
Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said
countries participating in these talks had the responsibility to turn
the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December
2007, into a success through a “truly comprehensive climate change
strategy” that united the developed and developing worlds. De Boer also
stressed that finance and technology mechanisms would be an essential
component of the negotiations that lay ahead.
On the second day, a number of member States made statements.
Antigua and Barbuda, speaking for the Group of 77 developing
countries and China, said multilateral action should remain “fully
rooted in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and
Kyoto Protocol,” and that developing countries should receive
technology, capacity building and other support “in a measurable,
reportable and verifiable manner,” as agreed in the Bali Action Plan.
Slovenia, speaking for the EU, urged a global agreement for strong
post-2012 action and also outlined the EU’s unilateral policy
agreements on emissions and renewable energy. Other speakers addressed
issues including reducing emissions from deforestation in developing
countries, the vulnerability of small island developing States, and the
role of public-private sector partnerships.
the final day, member States commented on issues including “climate
proofing” development assistance, the importance of energy efficiency,
market mechanisms, clean technologies, financing for adaptation and
mitigation in developing countries, and the need to follow up on the
Bali conference by designing and agreeing on an inclusive and effective
post-2012 framework for global action. At the close of the meeting,
Assembly President Srgjan Kerim reflected on the discussions, noting
that the large number of speakers was a “testament to the importance of
taking immediate practical action” to combat climate change. He
highlighted speakers’ comments on the need for both long-term targets
and short-term action and said the UN system must respond with policy
solutions that could help Member States answer some of the questions
and issues raised during the discussions. He also announced that he
would hold two additional meetings in 2008 that would focus on the
concerns of vulnerable countries and on corporate responsibility and
Links to further information
UN press statement/report (day one), 11 February 2008
UN press statement/report (day two), 12 February 2008
UN press statement/report (day three), 13 February 2008
UN press overview of meeting, 14 February 2008

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