The HLCP, at its thirty-first session, had approved a set of common core principles for a United Nations system-wide approach to climate action (see CEB/2016/4, para. 57), which CEB had endorsed in April 2016. As the next step towards the development of a coordinated approach on climate change, the Committee had requested the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at a suitable senior level, to develop a proposed road map for a possible comprehensive United Nations system strategy on climate change. Accordingly, the Committee had before it, for its consideration, a proposal prepared by the Assistant Secretaries-General of the three designated entities, in consultation with key stakeholders.
The lead authors of the proposal, Magdy Martínez-Solimán (UNDP), Thomas Gass (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and Elliott Harris (UNEP), noted that their efforts had been guided by the common core principles and the previous Committee discussions on the topic. The strategic approach would aim at providing substantive and operational guidance to accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement as an integral part of the broader 2030 Agenda. It was intended to be light and to provide added value to existing mechanisms and each entity’s ongoing and planned efforts to maximize collaboration within the United Nations system on climate change, with a focus on areas of high impact. That could entail deepening existing collaboration or identifying action areas where joint approaches could be more effective in tackling new challenges. Furthermore, the proposed approach recognized that ensuring coherence between policy and country-level implementation would require close coordination between the Committee and UNDG.
The proposal was accompanied by a road map containing a proposed process and timeline with concrete steps and deliverables, geared towards finalizing the preparation of the strategic approach for endorsement by CEB at its first regular session of 2017.
The Committee welcomed the proposal and expressed strong agreement with the need and rationale for the development of a strategic approach.In addition, the approach should encourage the transformational changes that were required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as measures to support governments in reaping the benefits of that transformation. The Committee further stressed the importance of linking policy, programme and operations, which required close linkages with UNDG, noting that ultimately, the success of the strategic approach would be determined by the degree to which it translated into accelerated action at the country level. The Committee expressed support for the establishment of the proposed core task team with a time-bound mandate to develop the strategic approach.
The Committee approved the proposed road map for the preparation of a United Nations system-wide strategic approach on climate change action (see annex III to the present report), pending incorporation of the revisions emanating from the discussion, and agreed to the establishment of an ad hoc time-bound core task team to prepare the strategic approach, under the continued guidance of the Assistant Secretaries-General of UNDP, UNEP and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and taking into account the discussion just concluded, for consideration by the Committee at its thirty-third session.