News

CEB Takes Action on Biodiversity, Climate, Sustainable Development, DDR

19 April 2011: In a briefing to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 19 April 2011 in New York, US, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) discussed the highlights and outcomes of its Spring meeting, which took place from 1-2 April 2011, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Assistant-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and Secretary of the CEB Thomas Stelzer reported on the meeting's outcomes on biodiversity, climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, among other topics.

On the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), Stelzer noted that it was a “major opportunity” for the UN system to lend unified, coherent support to member States in organizing and delivering on the sustainable development agenda. Stelzer said the UN Secretary-General has decided to establish a dedicated “Principals Group” to advise him on the UN system's contribution to the two themes of the UNCSD: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The Principals Group will seek to ensure that all parts of the UN system work together to support the mandates given by member States.

The CEB reviewed and adopted the reports of the three pillars of the CEB: the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP), High-level Committee on Management (HLCM), and UN Development Group (UNDG).

On the HLCP report, the CEB decided to: continue the HLCP's responsibilities in the area of climate change for another year, through the Working Group on Climate Change, including to devise a unified approach for the 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the 7th session of the Meeting of the Parties (COP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011, and to develop programmatic approaches to supporting implementation of climate change action; support a coordinated UN response to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) outcomes from the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan; and prepare a report on accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while reinforcing the sustainable development approach.

The CEB also spent much of its meeting considering disaster risk reduction, in light of the recent events in Japan. Stelzer said the discussion “was aimed at fully mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development programmes and providing leadership for a coherent and coordinated global action plan - building on the important work already being done by many CEB members and taking stock of the mid-term review of the Hyogo Framework of Action, the outcome and follow-up of the 2010 High Level Meetings on the Millennium Development Goals and on Small Island States. The Secretary-General and members of the Board re-affirmed their highest level of support to this agenda in the work of their institutions.”

Finally, Stelzer noted that the theme of the 2012 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) would be “promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs.”

Other outcomes of the CEB's Spring meeting pertained to management and UN reform. [IISD RS Sources]