UNGA High-level Week Undergoing Changes to Format, Schedule – IISD

UN Member States and officials are considering changes to the format of the UN General Debate for the 75th UN General Assembly session and the surrounding high-level meetings in September 2020. Officials expect that limitations on international travel and convening of large in-person meetings may still be in effect in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The high-level week has been anticipated as the start of a “landmark year” for the UN.

 

On 9 June 2020, UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande circulated “elements for consideration” regarding the revised format. The proposal is based on advice from the UN Secretary-General, the host government (US) and local authorities (New York City and New York State), Member States, and the UN’s medical director.

 

According to the proposal for the high-level week, the General Debate would still take place on the scheduled dates, 22-29 September 2020. On 22 September the President of the 75th UNGA session – Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, who was elected on 17 June – would deliver an opening statement in the UNGA Hall, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would present his annual report on the work of the organization. Heads of State and Government or Ministers would address the General Debate via pre-recorded video statements played on screens in the UNGA Hall. Alternatively, the New York-based Permanent Representative of a Member State could deliver a statement in person in the UNGA Hall.

 

The physical presence of delegations in the UNGA Hall would be limited to at one delegate per Member States. This may be extended to two delegates, if possible. Everyone would be requested to wear a face covering at all times, maintain physical distancing, and be free of COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Similar arrangements would be put in place for the high-level meeting to commemorate the UN’s 75th anniversary on 21 September 2020 (UN75).

 

Other high-level meetings are currently scheduled to convene in parallel to the debate. Therefore, citing operational limitations on parallel meetings, Muhammad-Bande suggests changing their dates to allow for the use of virtual platforms and pre-recorded video statements. These meetings and their proposed rescheduled dates are:

 

    Summit on Biodiversity (proposed to reschedule to 30 September);

  •     High-level meeting on 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25) (proposed to reschedule to 1 October); and
  •     High-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (proposed to reschedule to 2 October).

 

Find out more...

Go back

Partners News

Final Reports: United Nations Biodiversity Summit

The Summit focused on the theme “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 GBF that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, “Living in harmony with nature.”

The Evolving War on Illegal Wildlife Trade - IISD

Illegal trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife are causing unprecedented declines in some species. They can also potentially lead to the spread of zoonoses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. While the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been in force since 1975, there are growing calls to build a stand-alone international instrument to address illegal wildlife trade and crime.

How to Make Climate Risk Insurance Better Meet the Needs of the Vulnerable? – IISD

When climate risk insurance (CRI) schemes first started gaining popularity ten years ago, many believed they would be a solid solution to help vulnerable communities financially manage natural hazards and adapt to climate change. However, over the past decade implementers have learned that changes to existing approaches are required to better meet the needs of the target populations.

Leaders Stress Importance of Transparency and Trust in Pandemic Recovery Efforts – IISD

“Spend what you need to, but you need to keep the receipts.” Speaker after speaker elaborated on this theme and its objectives during a discussion organized by the Open Government Partnership on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 75th session. Principles such as transparency, accountability, participation, trust, communication, and inclusion were highlighted as critical components for the effective governance of stimulus packages and efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brief Explores the Role of the Governance in Protecting Global Biodiversity –IISD

A policy brief from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) emphasizes that reversing the alarming rate of biodiversity loss requires a significant policy shift away from business as usual. The coming decade is of utmost importance for global governance of biodiversity, the authors stress.

UNCCD meets with LAC representatives to discuss future cooperation in land restoration – unccd

The UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw held a virtual meeting with the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua Ms. Sumaya  Castillo, the Executive Secretary of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) Mr. Salvador Nieto, and the special envoy for LAC, Mr. Edgar Gutierrez, to discuss a future cooperation cooperation agreement and review land restoration activities in the region.

UNCCD and the IIASA enter partnership to support science, technology and innovation – unccd

Bonn, Germany/Laxenburg Austria – UNCCD and the International institute of applied systems analysis (IIASA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 30 September 2020 to promote the application of integrated system analyses in support of science, technology and UNCCD implementation. This MoU builds on shared priorities and strategic vision of both institutions to advance transformational changes that help achieve sustainable development goals, in particularly SDG15.3 on Land degradation Neutrality.

National workshop on certification and traceability in the DRC in Kinshasa. – ATIBT

This workshop was organized by the Federation of Timber Manufacturers (FIB) in collaboration with ATIBT through the FLEGT REDD, FLEGT IP and FLEGT certification projects, namely "Improving the integration of third party verified certification into FLEGT-REDD processes", projects awarded to ATIBT aimed at improving the legal level of companies through professional associations, project partners, and through the promotion of third party verified certification, to prepare them for the implementation of FLEGT VPAs.

Tree planting is critical for sustainable future but can’t fix climate change on its own – CIFOR

Around 40 kilometers south-west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, native and exotic trees stand side by side on 8 hectares of the Suba Forest. Surrounded by tall junipers and idyllic mountains, this group of seed orchards is just one of many that serve as incubators for the country’s impressive landscape restoration efforts.

UN Biodiversity Summit Supports 2030 Agenda-aligned Post-2020 Framework –IISD

The first UN Biodiversity Summit highlighted the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards “living in harmony with nature” – the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

FAO Director-General calls for transformational change in the way we manage our forests and food systems that depend on them – FAO

5 October 2020, Rome - Transformational change is needed in the way we manage our forests and their biodiversity, produce and consume our foods and interact with nature, if we want to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This was the key message of a speech delivered today by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at the 25th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO).

The status of the forest elephant in the world heritage Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon

Our forest elephant dung-based distance-sampling survey of the 5,260 km2 World Heritage Dja Faunal Reserve (DFR) in Cameroon systematically covered 298.2 km of line transects with a further 1,681.4 km covered as recces. The population estimates of 0.042 individuals/km2 (CV: 19.4%; 95% CI: 0.029–0.061) and 219 individuals (95% CI: 150–319) confirmed a significant decline over recent years.

Call for Expression of Interest for the selection of a Development Bank in charge of opening and managing a "Blue Fund for the Congo Basin" financing line. – CBCC

The Congo Basin Climate Commission (CBCC) is launching a Call for Expression of Interest (CEI) for the selection of a Development Bank in charge of opening and managing a "Blue Fund for the Congo Basin" financing line.

FLEGT-IP and FLEGT-REDD Project Workshop SPIB - ATIBT "Traceability and Forest Certification of Wood" - ATIBT

On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 was held in Abidjan, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Palm Club Hotel, the workshop on Traceability and Certification, organized by ATIBT and SPIB, as part of the implementation of activities of the FLEGT-IP and FLEGT-REDD Project in Côte d'Ivoire.