30 November 2022
Second Committee Approves Texts on Protecting Climate, CBD Implementation
Photo Credit: Leighton Lum
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The Committee began its work for the 77th session on 29 September 2022, closing on 23 November.

Speakers outlined the difficulties in implementing most of the SDGs due to the economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, market instability, and energy and food insecurity.

The Committee approved texts of more than 40 resolutions.

The UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) committee on economic and financial issues (Second Committee) has completed its work for the 77th session. The Committee, which was chaired by Lachezara Stoeva of Bulgaria, reached agreement on, among other issues, protection of the global climate for present and future generations, implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), addressing obstacles to women’s development, and international trade and development.

The Committee began its work for the 77th session on 29 September 2022. It held a general debate from 3-4 October, preceded by a keynote address by Michael Kremer, University of Chicago Professor and winner of the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, who stressed the importance of innovation in addressing global challenges, including COVID-19 pandemic recovery, poverty, and climate change. 

Governments and groupings highlighted that geopolitical tensions and “debilitating” effects of climate change have heightened vulnerabilities of countries and people around the globe. They called for, inter alia:

  • expanded concessional financing and reduced borrowing costs for developing countries;
  • a renewed commitment to poverty eradication; and
  • strengthening resilience against future shocks and ensuring an effective recovery.

Highlighting increasing climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, they urged developed countries to meet the climate finance pledge of providing USD 100 billion a year to developing States.

The Committee considered sustainable development issues in more detail from 10-11 October. UNGA President Csaba Kőrösi set the tone for discussions by calling on governments to reverse the trend of increasing inequalities. Noting that USD 4.3 trillion is needed per year to meet the SDGs, he pointed to a massive financing gap for achieving the Goals.

Speakers outlined the difficulties in implementing most of the SDGs due to the economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, market instability, and energy and food insecurity.

David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said the main task of the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in December will be to finalize and adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. He stressed that “the framework must be sufficiently strong to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and put it on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest.”  

Following the debates, the Committee met to approve draft resolutions on each topic. These included resolutions on: follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (FfD); enhancing the role of parliaments in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs; promoting zero-waste approaches to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, approved on 21 November.

On 22 November, delegations approved a resolution on implementation of the CBD. By that text, the UNGA would urge parties to the Convention to ensure the coherence and complementarity of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework with other existing or upcoming international processes, in particular with regard to the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as other related processes, frameworks, and strategies. The Committee also approved texts on rural poverty eradication, the international financial system and development, external debt sustainability, and investments for sustainable development, among others.

On the final day of the session, the Committee approved a resolution on protection of the global climate. By its terms, the UNGA would urge Member States to adopt a climate- and environment-responsive approach to COVID‑19 recovery efforts and accelerate a transition to low‑emission, climate-resilient, inclusive, and sustainable economies and societies. Delegations also approved texts on global tax cooperation, entrepreneurship for sustainable development, small island developing States (SIDS), globalization and interdependence, landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and agriculture development, food security, and nutrition. [General Debate Summary, 3 October] [General Debate Summary, 4 October] [Sustainable Development Debate Summary, 10 October] [Sustainable Development Debate Summary, 11 October]

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