Action source

Agenda Item

Action date

14/03/2008

Background

The Chairman recalled that, at the CEB session in April 2007, the Secretary-General had asked the High-level Committee on Programmes to prepare the United Nations system’s contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007. A first draft had been produced in the summer of 2007 and further discussions had followed at the Committee’s fourteenth session in September 2007. Thereafter, further drafts of the paper on United Nations system coordination on climate change had been prepared through a process led by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee. The final paper had been approved by CEB and presented at the Conference by the Secretary-General. It had been very well received by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, creating momentum and expectations for the future.

An informal High-level Committee on Programmes meeting on the way forward had been convened by the Vice-Chairman on the margins of the General Assembly debate on 12 February 2008. The Committee should now come up with one approach to coordination, for endorsement by CEB, which would serve as a contribution to the next climate change conference/Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008.

Discussion

In the discussion that followed, several agency representatives emphasized the importance of proceeding with a sectoral approach, as had been indicated in the CEB paper presented at the Bali conference and in the Secretary-General’s report to the General Assembly. The point was also made that adaptation was sector-based, that the Nairobi workplan mentioned sectors, that carbon emissions were calculated by sector and that even Governments at the national level were organized in sectoral ministries that were the counterparts to United Nations agencies. The United Nations system already had several sectoral coordination mechanisms that could be used, such as UN-Energy, UN-Water and UN-Oceans. Several agencies were already working on adaptation plans to be put before their governing bodies in the summer.

Other agency representatives, however, maintained that the sectoral approach did not correspond to what the United Nations system needed to do, namely, to be responsive to the demands of Member States and to their holistic approach to climate change as part of sustainable development.

Overall there was agreement that coordination arrangements should remain minimal and be largely based on what was already in place. At the global level the Secretary-General had assumed a prominent leadership role and had to be supported.

Action

The Committee concluded its consideration of the item by adopting a proposed decision for CEB consideration (see annex III of HLCP report: 15th Session)