The League of Arab States, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) are jointly organizing the Regional Consultation on Climate Change for the 2019 Arab Forum on Sustainable Development and High-Level Political Forum from 21 to 22 March 2019 at the United Nations House in Beirut, Lebanon.
The meeting is organized by mandate of the Fifth Session of the ESCWA Executive Committee (Beirut, 18-19 December 2018). The consultation is organized within the framework of activities conducted by the Arab Centre for Climate Change Policies at ESCWA. Support for the consultation is provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through its support for climate-related projects and initiatives serving Arab States.
The objective of this meeting is to consolidate regional views on climate change issues and priorities facing the Arab region and will result in a joint regional outcome statement on climate change related issues that will be delivered to the Arab Forum on Sustainable Development (Beirut, 9-11 April 2019) and will support Arab States in their preparations for the HLPF.
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the main United Nations platform supporting the monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. The 2019 session of the HLPF will be convened in two parts: first from 9 to 18 July 2019 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and then from 24 to 25 September 2019 under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. One political declaration will be negotiated for adoption in September 2019. A United Nations Climate Summit will also take place on 23 September 2019.
The theme of the 2019 session of the HLPF is “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality” The six goals under review during this cycle are:
- Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The thematic focus of the 2019 Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) will be organized under the same theme as the HLPF, namely “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.” The forum is expected to put into context regional progress and challenges related to the achievement of the SDGs, with special focus placed on empowerment, inclusiveness and equality across the 2030 Agenda as well as the six SDGs under review during the 2019 review cycle.
The outcome document on climate change will also be shared with Arab Ambassadors to the United Nations and League of Arab States; the Arab Group of Climate Change Negotiators convened under the auspices of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (April 2019); the Arab Permanent Committee for Meteorology (April 2019); the Arab Ministerial Water Council (June 2019); Sixth Session of the ESCWA Executive Committee (June 2019) and the intergovernmental ESCWA Energy Committee and ESCWA Committee on Water Resources. It is expected that these outcomes would thus help to inform regional preparations for the 2019 HLPF session.