Briefing on COP21 and annual WB/IMF meeting

Opening remarks by Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly, at briefing on the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change in Paris and the Annual Meeting of the WB/IMF, held in Lima

4 November 2015




Excellencies, Mr Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome you here today to this briefing on the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris and on the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and IMF, held in Lima on the 9th to the 11th of October.

Only two months ago, world leaders adopted the revolutionary 2030 Agenda which followed the agreement of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Both the meeting in Lima, and in particular, the conference in Paris are directly linked to deliver on those commitments.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, our world has just experienced the hottest January-September on record. It is high time for the international community to take decisive action on climate change and COP 21 in Paris is our last chance to do so.

Success in Paris means agreeing ambitious actions to address mitigation as well as other key issues related to adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency.

The last negotiating session in Bonn produced a balanced draft agreement, as a basis for the final consultations in Paris. Parties must now build on this positive and constructive spirit in order to reach consensus on an ambitious and universally binding agreement in Paris.

While countries have demonstrated commitment through their INDC submissions, current submissions must be seen as the floor rather than a ceiling if we are to stay within the 2 degrees Celsius limit and the submission by all Parties of their INDCs remains an important issue in this regard.

If leadership and enlightened self-interest lead to concrete agreements in the negotiations themselves, then Paris will not just help secure the rights of future generations, it will be the first major step towards delivering on the SDGs.

Thereafter it will be up-to all actors to take swift and decisive action for implementation and on 11-12 April, I will hold a high-level thematic debate to catalyze early progress on sustainable development, finance and climate commitments and I look forward to the active engagement of all stakeholders in that meeting.

The second issue on today’s agenda is the Annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF which took place in Lima in October.

There, Finance Ministers, Bank Governors, Multilateral Development Banks and business leaders discussed how to mobilize the trillions of dollars needed to finance the implementation of the SDGs.

The World Bank/IMF Development Committee – which I addressed, becoming the first President of this Assembly to do so – focused on the specific implementation role of the World Bank Group and stressed the need to ensure coordination with governments, the UN, the IMF, multilateral development banks, the World Trade Organization, the private sector and civil society, and to deliver development solutions at country, regional, and global levels.

There was also a strong call to mobilize private sector investment, while focusing on inclusive growth, jobs, infrastructure, human development and on deepening the Group’s engagement in fragile and conflict states.

Many mentioned the need for climate finance and climate action to be seen as crucial parts of our sustainable development efforts so as to ensure synergies and cohesion of efforts. Reflecting on the fact that funding for green investments is rising and that developed countries have made “significant progress” towards meeting their commitment to deliver $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020, I also highlighted the need to define trajectories to meeting this commitment.

Finally, I and many others addressed the current global refugee crisis. I stressed the need for a comprehensive financing plan and a more coherent response from the international community and there was a strong call for targeted support to address the challenges for countries and regions in turmoil, but also in other fragile and conflict states.

I thank you for your attention and I look forward to learning more on these matters through our respective speakers.

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