Process Launched to Boost Support for Least Developed Countries
Credit: Kiribati / UNFCCC
UN Climate Change News, 3 June 2021 - A United Nations-led process has been launched to kick-start negotiations for the next Programme of Action to support the world’s least developed countries (LDCs).
The new Programme of Action is expected to contain renewed partnerships between the LDCs and their development partners to help the LDCs overcome structural challenges, eradicate poverty, achieve the internationally agreed sustainable development goals (SDGs) and ultimately, to graduate from the LDC category.
The regular process was launched through the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee (PrepCom1), which will negotiate the elements of the Programme of Action. The programme will be finalized at the fifth United Nations (UN) Conference for the Least Developed Countries to be held in January 2022.
The LDCs face unprecedented and disproportionate impacts from climate change such as sea-level rise, droughts, floods or storms. Despite the wide array of and evolving opportunities for support, the LDCs continue to face extreme challenges to make progress in achieving the SDGs. “Only few least developed countries have produced a national adaptation plan to increase their resilience in the face of climate change since the process was established in 2010”, said H.E. Ms. Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Madagascar. H.E. Mr. Perks Ligoya, the Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations and Chair of the LDC Group under the UN General Assembly, also informed one of the conference events that “we are leaving the LDCs behind”.
Additionally, COVID-19 has created additional pressures and in many instances, has reversed the development gains made by LDCs in recent years.
The recently held first round of PrepCom deliberations cited a range of actions that should be included in the new Programme of Action to strengthen the resilience of the LDCs against climate and other shocks, and to safeguard the achievement of the SDGs.
Speaking at PrepCom1, Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “We recently launched a partnership to mobilize the whole UN system to provide technical backstopping to the LDCs in the preparation and implementation of their national adaptation plans. This provides an important opportunity to build upon and to strengthen support to the LDCs.”
“Engaging and working together in a collaborative way is crucially important to support LDCs in the coming decade. This will widen opportunities to apply resources towards a greener and resilient future for all,” he added.
Ambitious resilience-building programmes in major areas of development and livelihoods for the LDCs such as food, water, health, ecosystems, energy and infrastructure should be an essential component of the new Programme of Action, building on existing initiatives.
Mr. Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General, encouraged the leaders to seize the opportunities presented by many high-level and relevant events happening in 2021 to leverage ambition for the new Programme of Action.
“The UN Secretary General has clear priorities for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held at the end of the year in Glasgow, Scotland. They embody the need to keep the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit within reach and to achieve a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience, as well as finance. All of these will significantly benefit the LDCs,” he explained.
More than half of the people living in the LDCs are under the age of 25, and efforts to meaningfully engage young people in addressing climate change in the LDCs are crucial. “Investing in young people is investing in resilience-building,” said Ms. Sandra Delali Kemeh of the Africa Youth Advisory Board. Additionally, “women are at the forefront of meeting household energy needs in the LDCs, yet only 32% of women constitute the renewable energy workforce, a trend that needs to change,” said Ms. Sheila Oparaocha of ENERGIA.
The LDCs also need to be supported with systematic collection or access to data, and to institutionalize its use in decision-making. Prof. Catherine Nakalembe, 2020 Africa Food Prize winner, and scientist from the University of Maryland highlighted how earth observations are being applied to provide actionable data and information for agricultural productivity, which can help transform the way food is produced in the LDCs.
Deliberations will continue at the second PrepCom meeting, which is scheduled to take place in July 2021. The new Programme of Action for the LDCs will coincide with the final decade of action to deliver the 2030 SDGs.
The LDC 5 conference will be held in January 2022 in Doha, Qatar. The conference will take place amidst the biggest present-day challenges to humanity of climate change and COVID-19, which both disproportionately affect the LDCs. The LDC 5 conference and its preparatory process is led by UN-OHRLLS.
More details about the LDC 5 conference are available here.
Article / 03 Jun, 2021
Source: UN Climate Change News
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