Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Closing Remarks at Loss & Damage Side-Event

Excellencies

Ladies and Gentlemen

We have just had a very fruitful discussion on the issue of Loss and Damage. .

On behalf of the Co-organizers of this Event, I wish to express our sincere and utmost gratitude for each and every one of you for coming to this Event and participating actively. I also wish to thank my colleagues from the UN System and the PIDF for their contribution.

It was quite obvious from our exchange today that the unfortunate reality is that, there are climate change impacts. Some of them cannot be adapted to, and some impacts are so severe that they leave in their wake permanent or significantly damaging effects. Loss and Damage of this kind can arise from extreme weather events, such as the loss of lives and property in a cyclone, as well as from slow onset events, like the extinction of species that result from ecosystem shifts, the loss of arable land to desertification, demise of coral reefs due to bleaching and ocean acidification or submergence and the complete disappearance of low-lying islands and shores.

Since assuming office in January, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, has highlighted these risks and challenges on several occasions, including in his opening remarks delivered yesterday afternoon at the high-level segment of COP23.

Excellencies,

The decision taken at COP 19 in Warsaw in 2013 was historical one. The inclusion of Loss and Damage into the Paris Agreement as an independent concept represents an ambitious compromise and goes a long way to resolving decades of long drawn out debates and differences. It provides a framework within which cooperation among the Parties can proceed in a more focused, and less contentious manner. The Paris Agreement sets the stage for solutions, addressing adverse effects of climate variability and climate change that occur despite global mitigation and local adaptation efforts, to emerge in a spirit of global cooperation and shared learning.

As I’ve said earlier, for many vulnerable countries, including LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, despite their genuine efforts and plans to mainstream the SDGs into their national development plans, there is a realization that potential disruptions caused by climate induced Loss and Damage has real likelihood to derail or completely inhibit their good intensions, therefore drastically impacting their ability to implement the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and its targets.

Building strong linkages between the advancement of action on Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC and with other initiatives and processes outside it, and building strong coherence of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda are highly necessary and vital for actions to be taken by international community. All those actions should be people centered, for the collective betterment of the lives of the citizens of this beautiful and only planet we call home.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you all for your time – I wish the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism well in their efforts. May this be a very successful end to the Conference.

I again acknowledge the Co-Organizers of this Event for their initiative.

I thank Fiji for the use of their Pavilion – Highly acknowledged and appreciated.

We are looking forward to a continued fruitful discussion on the issue of Loss and Damage at COP 24 in Katowice next year.

Thank you kindly – the Event is now adjourned!

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