14 October 2015, Bonn, Germany: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with UNITAR have jointly organized a seminar to assist Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in strategically engaging in intergovernmental climate change negotiation processes as part of an ongoing global support programme.
“This support comes at a critical time, as climate negotiators are engaged in climate change diplomacy, leading to a new climate treaty at COP21 in Paris in December which, for the most vulnerable, must aim at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Least Developed Countries must ensure that the future regime fully recognizes the challenges to development posed by climate change, to this end effective coordination and team-work are pivotal objectives in the run-up to Paris and beyond. The LDC Group needs to act more strategically and as a unit,” said Mr. Giza Gaspar Martins, Chair, LDC Group.
LDCs face severe socio-economic and environmental problems which threaten sustainable development. Climate change and variability will continue to exacerbate these problems, posing one of the biggest challenges for 21st century diplomacy and international development. Yet, LDCs face obstacles in engaging effectively in intergovernmental climate change negotiation processes.
“LDCs need to look at the core issues towards an agreement in Paris. Some issues are not flexible –we cannot negotiate survival,” said Ambassador Collin Beck, from Solomon Islands.
The seminar that took place at the UN Campus in Bonn, was part of the activities of a UNDP/UNEP global support programme, supported by the Global Environment Facility (The GEF). The programme aims to build the capacity of LDCs to participate effectively in intergovernmental climate change processes.
A group of LDC group coordinators and senior negotiators reflected on upcoming issues for COP 21, with the aim to strengthen their negotiation skills, develop expertise in the application of climate change information and science, and enhance their understanding of the climate change policy-making framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The seminar included focused discussions, simulated negotiation sessions and reinforced skills for strategic planning as a group. Experiences on overcoming deadlocks and consensus-building were shared by experts from other multilateral negotiations.
Collaborating partners include the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Climate Analytics. This initiative contributes to UNDP’s strategic plan 2014-2017, which aims to foster more inclusive, resilient and sustainable development. It fits into UNEP’s Programme of Work 2016-2017, in particular supporting the UNFCCC process and implementation of commitments under this framework.