At the request of the Secretary-General, the Chief Executives Board, through the High-Level Committee on Programmes, undertook to prepare the United Nations system’s contribution to the meeting of the Conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007. The resulting paper entitled “Coordinated United Nations system action on climate change” outlined key areas where the United Nations system could work together in response to the outcome of intergovernmental discussions and was presented by the Secretary-General to the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  gathered in Bali.

In January 2008, pursuant to the request of the General Assembly in its resolution 62/8, the Secretary-General submitted a report entitled “Overview of United Nations activities in relation to climate change” (A/62/644). The CEB Bali paper is contained in annex II of that report. An inventory of United Nations system activities on climate change, prepared under the auspices of the Board, was distributed as supplement to the Secretary-General’s report at the thematic debate on climate change held by the Assembly from 11 to 13 February 2008. Views expressed by Member States during the debate were subsequently taken into account in the consideration by the HLCP, together with the decisions reached in Bali and the recommendations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat on how the system could contribute to the implementation of the Bali Action Plan.

The High-Level Committee on Programmes identified five areas of focus for United Nations system activity in response to the negotiation process under the Convention and in pursuance of the broader mandates and capacities in the United Nations system. Those areas, which were subsequently endorsed by CEB at its 2008 spring session were (a) adaptation; (b) technology transfer; (c) capacity-building; (d) reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; and (e) mitigation/finance. The areas had been selected to respond to the needs of the negotiating process, most recently expressed at the climate change talks held in Bangkok from 31 March to 4 April 2008. To support country-level work in the focus areas and other sectors of United Nations activity the United Nations Development Group was also brought in, as a pillar of CEB and working in tandem with the High-Level Committee on Programmes. Moreover, it was decided, in order to support the exchange of information, transparency, engagement and the tracking of results, to have the aforementioned inventory of United Nations system activities evolve into a living web-based tool that would also be available to Member States.

Work is continuing within the CEB framework on elaborating a coordination approach as a contribution to the forthcoming climate change conference/ Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008. The Board considers it essential to be responsive to the evolution of the intergovernmental discussion, while at the same time offering proactive approaches in key emerging areas. The United Nations system will continue to leverage its strengths in line with the mandates it receives from Member States to respond to the multifaceted challenges of climate change within the broader context of sustainable development.

The Board has agreed that the coordinating mechanism to take forward its work on climate change will remain light and flexible. Decisions regarding facilitation of the aforementioned five areas of focus will be made on the basis of expressed commitments by participating organizations. Coordination on key issues will further be strengthened through existing mechanisms, such as UN-Energy, UN Water and UN-Oceans, and special efforts will be made to respond to immediate challenges. Current mechanisms to support country and regional level work will be used to provide countries with the services and capacity that they require.