News Archive June 2015

tralac’s Daily News selection: 30 June 2015

The selection: Tuesday, 30 June

Global Review of Aid for Trade starts today

The Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade gets under way at the WTO’s headquarters on 30 June 2015. The three-day event will bring together over 1,000 participants from around the world to review actions being taken to reduce trade costs so that developing countries, and in particular least-developed countries, can participate more effectively in global trade. A theme running through the three-day event will be the significant contribution that implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement can make to the objective of reducing trade costs. Over the course of the three days, 17 high-level plenary sessions and 28 side events organized by WTO members and other Aid-for-Trade partners will be held. [Download the programme]

Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade: UNCTAD participationWorld Bank participation, OECD commentary

Released today: The role of trade in ending poverty (WTO)

A greater and more sustained effort to deepen the integration of developing countries into the global trading system through lower trade costs and fewer barriers between countries is essential to eliminating extreme poverty, according to a joint World Bank Group and World Trade Organization report released today. The report highlights three main messages: [Download

The ACP at 40 – Repositioning as a global player (Inter Press Service)

The ACP has social and organisational capital accumulated from a rich experience on trade negotiations with the world’s largest bloc of Europe and its 500 million inhabitants. Undoubtedly marked by contentious issues on trade provisions to satisfy the WTO’s non-discriminatory behaviour among its member States, ACP-EU relations reveal the persistent battle of poor versus rich with a view to finding common ground on issues of mutual interest. The 40th anniversary celebration by the ACP Group at a High-Level Inter-regional Symposium on June 4 and 5 witnessed reflections on achievements and failures, as well as limitations in the performance of the ACP Group, in itself as a group and among its member states, as well as in its partnership with the European Union and the wider global arena. [The author, Patrick I. Gomes, is the Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States]

The AIIB was launched yesterday: a collection of links on its structure 

Articles of Agreement (Government of China)

A breakdown per country of shares, votes in China-led AIIB 

Initial subscriptions to the authorized capital stock (South Africa 0.60%, Egypt 0.66%)

How voting rights in AIIB reflect Beijing's leading role (South China Morning Post)

Philippa Brant: 'Four observations about the AIIB's Articles of Agreement' (Lowy Institute)

Can new AIIB learn from both BRICS & Western development experiences? (IDS Rising Powers)

Kenya needs to invest Sh1.7trn yearly to hit 10pc GDP growth: Rotich (Daily Nation)

Kenya needs to make investments worth Sh1.7 trillion each year if the country is to attain growth rates of over 10 per cent annually, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich has said. Such investments, equivalent to 32 per cent of the country’s GDP would be channelled to critical sectors in energy and infrastructure development.

Who wins World Bank-financed government contracts? Four things we learned from the data (+ 1 lingering question) (Brookings)

Motivated by the relative lack of research on international procurement, we used World Bank contracts data to examine the linkages between countries’ economic development trajectories and their domestic firms’ competitiveness in our recent paper, 'Aid procurement and the development of local industry: a question for Africa'. Here are four key points we uncovered: [The authors: Jeffrey Gutman, Christine Zhang] 

US trade mission to Sub-Saharan Africa concludes in Kenya (US Department of Transportation)

In Johannesburg, Secretary Foxx and his counterpart, South African Transportation Minister Dipuo Peters, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to work together on important issues related to roads, rail, transit, air and maritime transport, including skills and workforce development. An important element of the agreement is a mutual commitment to bring more women into the transportation field.  Secretary Foxx and Minister Peters immediately launched the “Tomorrow’s Transportation Leaders” initiative, a capacity-building program for Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Ambassador Michael Froman: statement on Congressional Passage of TPA, AGOA, and Preference Package (USTR) 

On trade, here’s what the President signed into law  (The White House)

What they’re saying on the trade package (TradewWinds)

Nairobi Convention COP: speech by Achim Steiner (UNEP)

Then we face urbanization pressures, most markedly in main centres such as Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Maputo and Durban. Consequently, pollution in some key areas is degrading water and sediment quality, resulting in a loss of biological diversity, problems for human health and a reduction in fish stocks. And we have likely yet to see the worst impacts. With the exception of Kenya, it is estimated that by 2020, 50 per cent of the populations of the Western Indian Ocean's mainland countries will live within the coastal zone. Economic activities are also expected to intensify, particularly in the areas of maritime trade, mineral extraction from the coast, oil and gas exploration, coastal tourism and bio-prospecting. While these sectors present enormous economic opportunities, the potential impacts may reduce natural capital.  Then, of course, we have the specific climate challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as our gracious host today. [Climate change strategy for the Nairobi Convention Area]

India begins first seabed exploration for gold and other mineral deposits in Indian Ocean (Economic Times)

UNSG: Failure to constrain climate change will create ‘climate chaos’ (Common African Platform)

BASIC Ministerial: statement on climate change (Common African Platform)

Ministers expressed disappointment over the continued lack of any clear roadmap for developed countries to provide USD 100 billion per year by 2020, as well as on substantially scaling up financial support after 2020. They urged developed countries to honor their obligations to provide new, additional and predictable financial support to developing countries in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner. They reiterated that public financial sources should be the mainstay of climate finance and that private finance could only be expected to play a supplementary role.

Statement on political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho (GCIS)

After receiving the report of the Fact Finding Mission, President Zuma has become more concerned about the apparent explosive security situation in Lesotho. In this regard, President Zuma has decided to urgently dispatch Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the SADC Facilitator on Lesotho, to consult with Right Honourable Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili. Further, President Zuma is sending a Special Envoy to the Chair of SADC, HE Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to share his deep concerns about the security situation in Lesotho as contained in the Ministerial Fact Finding Mission.

Lesotho: Second private sector competitiveness and economic diversification project (World Bank)

TFTA’s opportunity requires bold decisions – PM (New Era)

The tripartite agreement that incorporates Africa’s major trade blocs into a concerted effort to boost the continent’s trade power must be seen as an opportunity for Namibia to grow its economy at a rate that can rapidly reduce unemployment and poverty. However, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila warned that this would require bold decisions to improve the country’s competitiveness and innovation capacity in a fast-changing world.

International migration paradigm for South Africa - remarks by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba

We often get severely criticized for the choice of balance we strike and, consequently, this balance cannot be arbitrary on our part, it must be guided by a clear, futuristic and balanced policy paradigm that seeks to harness the good and take advantage of the positives whilst it minimises the risks both through the policy guide and administrative processes and capacity.

One of our most important international obligations is to the region. South Africa has committed itself to African and regional integration, to progressively weaken colonially imposed borders and make it easier for SADC and African citizens to move without restriction. Because of our relative economic strength, our terms of trade with some of our neighbours are often balanced in our favour. So while we may have concerns about the impact of mixed migration on our domestic labour market, we must balance this with regional solidarity and enlightened self-interest, as South Africa will benefit in the long-term from a more integrated, more prosperous region and continent.

COMESA High Level Cyber Security Forum: 2-3 July 2015 (COMESA)

COMESA has developed and adopted cyber security policy and legislation. Extensive work has been done on the public key infrastructure protection. An assessment of the current situation of cyber security report will be presented to the forum in addition to regional cooperation agreement, cyber security board establishment. The main objective of the Forum is to contribute to harmonization, consolidation and support for the regional and national efforts in strengthening the safety, security and resilience of COMESA Cyberspace. The specific objectives are:

Is Uganda becoming a dollar economy? (Daily Monitor)

As of November, foreign currency deposits stood at Shs4 trillion, according to the central bank. However, as the central bank agrees, economists say it is hard to tell the actual amount of dollars in circulation due to black market trade of the unit.  “It is not possible to establish the exact amount of foreign currency in circulation partly because of the informal trading,” Alupo says. But Ggoobi believes there has been a steady growth of dollar transactions, especially at times when the shilling is much volatile.

Exiting dollarisation won’t be easy: UN official (The Herald)

No country has ever been able to reintroduce its domestic currency in the history of dollarisation due to the costs associated with such a decision and Zimbabwe may not be able to do so at least in the next five years, a United Nations Development Programme senior official has said. UNDP senior economic advisor in Zimbabwe Mr Amarakoon Bandara told a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress in Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe was not ready for reintroduction of local currency, even under a different name as the fundamentals were not there yet. The growing informal sector and rising imports, instead of savings, were also indications the economy is a long way from the desired destination.

Tanzania: Shilling finally gains after freefall spree (The Citizen)

Better cross-border trade key to EA growth (Business Daily)

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the Government of Kenya have been involved in proposals to expedite regional integration so as to facilitate cross-border trade with neighbouring countries as well as improve Kenya’s overall investment climate.  One key reform is the National Electronic Single Window System (NESWS), which has drastically reduced cost of tax compliance and facilitates cross-border trade within the EAC. [The author, Carole Kariuki is the CEO, Kenya Private Sector Alliance]

South Sudan to sensitize citizens before joining EAC (Daily News)

South Sudan, the newest but troubled African State which had also applied to join the Arusha-pivoted, East African Community has announced that, the country will need five more years to sensitize its citizens before becoming the sixth member of the EAC. Official reports from the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha are to the effect that South Sudan’s council of ministers approved the country’s bid to join the EAC, but insisted its government needed five years to sensitise citizens on the benefits and risks of becoming a member.

Optimism high as Holili/ Taveta OSBP opens (Daily News)

Aviation: the next infrastructure growth frontier for Africa (AfDB) 

Eastern African power organizations to advance power system integration (EAC)

Kenya–Tanzania power interconnection project: EOI  (AfDB) 

IMF extends support for Senegal’s plan to be emerging economy (IMF) 

EU, India aim to resume stalled FTA talks in August (LiveMint)

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Lower trade barriers, stronger global trading system can help end extreme poverty

A greater and more sustained effort to deepen the integration of developing countries into the global trading system through lower trade costs and fewer barriers between countries is essential to eliminating extreme poverty, according to a joint World Bank Group and World Trade Organization report released today.

The report, “The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty,” points to trade as a key enabler of developing country growth, but says that efforts to lower trade barriers will need to be complemented by efforts to maximize gains for the poor in order to ensure that the benefits reach the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

“Trade plays an essential role in driving private sector-led growth and job creation and can be a powerful force in reducing poverty and increasing incomes,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “But we must do more than expand trade. We must also build roads that connect farmers to markets, and empower women to be full participants in the labor market. We must always connect the poorest to trade opportunities.”

“By supporting growth and development around the world, trade has proved to be an essential tool in tackling poverty. This report is a blueprint to enhance this role so that trade can do even more to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable,” said World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.

“A combination of the right practical support and domestic policies can make a big difference here. By helping the poor to help themselves we can better ensure that developing countries more actively participate in the global trading system and reap the benefits that trade has delivered to so many in the recent past.” 

Dr Kim, and Director-General Azevêdo launched the report today (30 June) at the 5th Global Review of Aid for Trade taking place from 30 June to 2 July at the WTO’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Since 1990, 1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty. Trade has played a key role, helping to lift growth in developing countries. To further harness the power of trade in helping the nearly 1 billion people still living on $1.25 per day, a sustained effort is needed to address the key constraints that limit the poor from benefiting from wider economic gains. 

Among the key strategies for extending the benefits of trade to the poor are lowering trade costs through such means as the WTO’s pdf Trade Facilitation Agreement (150 KB) and through policies which make markets more accessible for poor people, especially those in rural and conflict-affected areas, making it easier for them to take advantage of trade opportunities.

The report highlights three main messages:

  1. A sustained effort to deepen economic integration and further lower trade costs is essential for ending poverty. Strong growth in developing countries will be needed to achieve the end of poverty, and trade is a critical enabler of growth, facilitating opportunities for new and better work for the poor. Although great progress has been made in reducing trade costs and integrating low-income countries into the global economy, more needs to be done.

  2. Lowering tariffs and non-tariff barriers between countries are essential elements of this agenda, but this must form part of a wider approach that recognizes the specific constraints facing the extreme poor – and for many, their disconnection from markets – if they are to benefit from trade. This includes challenges facing women, the rural poor, those in the informal economy, and those in fragile and conflict affected states. For trade to generate the maximum impact and contribute most productively to ending poverty, trade policy must be complemented by other areas of policy. This entails deeper cooperation across sectoral lines, government agencies, and a wider range of stakeholders.

  3. The WTO and World Bank Group have made substantial contributions to trade and poverty reduction. However, a great deal more remains to be done to end poverty, and both institutions and other partners must constantly review their activities in support of poverty reduction to ensure they adapt most effectively to a rapidly changing world.

During the Global Review meetings, the two institutions announced an effort to address information gaps on trade and poverty by establishing improved indicators for the tracking of trade costs that most affect the poor. Dr Kim and DG Azevêdo also announced that the Aid for Trade Initiative, coordinated by the WTO, will focus more in future on amplifying the opportunities for the poorest to benefit from trade. The Aid for Trade Global Review is held every two years and serves to monitor the extent to which progress is being made.

Colloquium on a new International Migration paradigm for South Africa: Introductory remarks by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba

Introductory remarks by the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba MP, on the occasion of the Colloquium on a new International Migration paradigm for South Africa in Pretoria on June 30th, 2015

It is my special privilege to welcome you all to this, the “Colloquium on a new International Migration paradigm for South Africa.”

We thank you for setting aside many of the important you would rather be doing in order to join us as we try to shape up and refashion our international migration perspectives and forge a new paradigm.

Quite clearly, we have summoned you all here because we believe you are important stakeholders in that effort, because we believe your opinions count.

From the outset, we make the bold presumption that South Africa needs a new “International Migration paradigm” and the one we are currently overseeing and implementing has reached the end of its shelf-life.

Accordingly, the question that arises is: What type of international migration policy does an ambitious, developing, democratic country such as South Africa require?

Secondly, what must we seek to do with this policy?

In other means, what should be the objectives and benefits of this policy for the country?

The Department of Home Affairs is in the process of updating the country’s international migration policy, which was last articulated in the form of a white paper, in 1999.

As you no doubt are aware, the landscape has changed considerably since then.

International migration has emerged as a major phenomenon, posing both significant opportunities, as well as unique and complex challenges for governments and societies around the world.

Even for us as a country, it is a recurring debate in many radio talk-shows, newspaper articles, and even discussions among friends and family around dinner tables because of the impact it is having in our society.

It is particularly important that a developing country such as South Africa thoughtfully navigates the opportunities and challenges presented by international migration. 

We are a 21-year old, vibrant, raucous democracy, in the process of developing a national identity and cohesive society.

We are a developing economy, attempting to transform itself from an extremely unequal, exclusive, deindustrialised economy based on the export of natural resources to an inclusive, dynamic and labour-absorbing industrial economy, as spelt out in our National Development Plan: Vision 2030.

We are, at the same time, committed to realizing the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and contributing to the upliftment of the SADC region and the continent as a whole, through regional economic integration and intra-African trade.

Therefore, the fundamental question we are trying to answer through the new Green Paper on International Migration must be: 

  • What international migration policy is required to achieve our developmental objectives?,

  • How can we maximize our ability to reap the potential benefits of international migration?

  • How can we mitigate the risks presented by international migration?

We are at an exciting stage in the policy development process.

We have purposely convened a series of roundtables on various aspects of international migration policy to solicit views from outside of our department and many of you have participated in these dialogues, engagement we have thus far found very insightful and empowering for us.

Throughout this process, and continuing today, we have been very much in listening and learning mode. 

After the Colloquium, we will digest the contributions you have made, through papers and the discussions over the next two days, and then begin to deliberate on policy positions, which we will subsequently take through the Cabinet process.

We will then come back with a draft Green Paper which we will test with yourselves and many other stakeholders.

There are only a few things I wish to say with certainty right now.

Firstly, immigrants make a huge contribution to our society and development, and can contribute even more under an improved policy framework.

As investors, business owners, traders and buyers of goods, holders of critical skills, professionals, scientists, doctors, nurses, teachers, artists, relatives and spouses, they are an integral part of South Africa.

Often public discourse in our country focuses on the negative impact of international migration in our society in the form of brain-drain, the pressure of immigrants on social services in poor areas, the impact of economic migrants on the job situation in the country and even the impact of cross-border crimes and those that commit them.

Often neglected in this narrative is the positive social and economic impact that both our expatriates as well as immigrants have in our society.

Their positive contribution in the economy, enhancing national security, the forging of social cohesion and concept of nationhood as well as in integrating South Africa into Africa and the worldwide community of nations remains largely ignored in political and social circles except as matters of academic curiosity.

The new policy will advocate a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to managing international migration proceeding from the premise that international migration is not something which can, or should be, managed by Home Affairs alone.

It requires a

  • government-wide approach,
  • collaborations across all the three tiers government,

  • collaborations between government as a whole and society, communities and the public, as well as

  • collaborations between South Africa and her neighbours at both bilateral and multilateral levels. 

The policy must be part of a new discourse on international migration which engages all South Africans.

It must directly engage the average man or woman on the street, and address their values, aspirations, needs and concerns.

It is ordinary South Africans all over the country who live alongside immigrants and must integrate them into their communities.

By way of context, I will now share a few further guiding principles, and pose a few more questions.

Home Affairs is mandated by government to manage international migration in a way which balances our development, security and international obligations. 

This balancing role is absolutely critical.

While other stakeholders can focus on their individual interest, we must look at the whole picture and seek to strike a balance.

This balance is not always easy to strike, but striking it fairly is our mandate.

Those stakeholders in the private sector may only be interested in making it as easy as possible for tourists, investors, and skilled workers to enter South Africa.

This is understandable.

We are also charged with making sure that the rules and procedures which ease their entry do not, at the same time, also ease the entry of fraudsters, terrorists, organized crime syndicates and human traffickers.

Those in the security cluster, who deal with the human cost and corrosive influence of these criminal elements, and are tasked with combating them, want more preventative measures, even if they mean some inconvenience for legitimate visitors.

We then have to balance between the risk and impact of a potential breach and the potential benefits of the visitation from a tourist, investor or skilled worker; and we must bear into consideration the potential negative impact of security measures on legitimate travel and trade.

What is the right balance may be a matter of parochial interests to the different parties; and yet to us as the Department of Home Affairs, it is at the very centre of discharging our mandate as we manage immigration.

We often get severely criticized for the choice of balance we strike and, consequently, this balance cannot be arbitrary on our part, it must be guided by a clear, futuristic and balanced policy paradigm that seeks to harness the good and take advantage of the positives whilst it minimises the risks both through the policy guide and administrative processes and capacity.

One of our most important international obligations is to the region.

South Africa has committed itself to African and regional integration, to progressively weaken colonially imposed borders and make it easier for SADC and African citizens to move without restriction. 

Because of our relative economic strength, our terms of trade with some of our neighbours are often balanced in our favour.

So while we may have concerns about the impact of mixed migration on our domestic labour market, we must balance this with regional solidarity and enlightened self-interest, as South Africa will benefit in the long-term from a more integrated, more prosperous region and continent.

As we have said it above, our international migration policy must be futuristic and dynamic enough to adapt to changing circumstances and take on board new realities, challenges, opportunities and risks.

Some of the key questions we must answer clearly emerge:

  • What principles should underpin a new South African international migration policy?

  • Increasingly, countries around the world seek to attract and ease entry of highly sought-after types of travellers and migrants – tourists, investors, businesspeople and skilled workers – while limiting immigration by job seekers and low-skilled workers who do not respond to an identified labour gap. Is this an appropriate approach for South Africa?;

  • How can we discourage and dis-incentivize irregular immigration, in a way which is effective and humane?;

  • How can we build understanding of, and support for, international migration throughout society?; and

  • How can we improve available data and information on the number of immigrants in society, their characteristics and needs?

These are merely some of the issues and questions which arise, as we consider international migration for development.

Many more will emerge over the course of our engagement over the next two days.

I very much look forward to hearing and engaging with your views, research and experiences.

I thank you.

‘Journey towards bold climate action is at a critical moment,’ UN General Assembly told

Development cannot be sustainable if it does not address the challenge of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Member States on Monday as he opened a High-Level Event on Climate Change convened in New York by the President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.

“Let us always remember that climate change and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin, with two mutually reinforcing agendas,” the UN chief explained to delegations gathered for the event.

Just months ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Paris, today’s event has been convened in support to the process that will ultimately result in an agreement intended to succeed to the landmark Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the participants, Academy Award-winning actor and long-time conservationist Robert Redford, and 15-year-old indigenous climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, are expected to join the broad call for action to energize multilateral cooperation on climate change. Raised in the Aztec tradition, Mr. Roske-Martinez is Youth Director of a non-profit organization called Earth Guardians.

Keynote speakers are expected to include, Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark and President- elect of the 70th session of the General Assembly, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru, President of COP20, and Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, President of COP21.

“Adoption of a transformative post-2015 development agenda in September, achieving a successful outcome from the upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development and concluding a global climate change agreement will be monumental milestones towards improving the livelihoods of people around the world,” Assembly President Kutesa summarized.

But a climate change agreement in Paris will not be the end point, observed the Secretary-General: “it must be a turning point in how the world collectively responds to the defining challenge of our time,” he stressed.

“Today, we have come together to take stock of what we have pledged, what we have delivered, and what else we must do to ensure that world leaders and their governments adopt an ambitious, universal agreement in December.”

Journey towards bold climate action is therefore at a “critical moment”, he stated.

The Secretary-General welcomed a number of recent achievements, such as the fact that the world’s three biggest economies – China, the European Union and the United States – have “placed their bets” on low-carbon, climate-resilient growth, while the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases announced ambitious climate actions. And other major economies in the G7 and G20 made clear their intention to act, he rejoiced.

“Nevertheless, these pledges cover only a portion of total global emissions. We must seize today’s opportunity to make a strong call to all Parties to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCS), bearing in mind the urgent need for concrete actions by all,” advised the President of the General Assembly.

Another cause for satisfaction, pointed out the Secretary-General, is the dramatic fall in prices of renewable energy sources, which in some places has reached parity with fossil fuels. “The world is now using more renewable electric power each year than it is from coal, natural gas and oil put together,” Member States were told.

Moreover, he went on to say, investors and insurers are starting to integrate climate risk into their decision-making, while citizens, civil society and faith leaders, most recently Pope Francis, are pushing for action.

However, the pace of the UNFCCC negotiations is far too slow, said Mr. Ban, underscoring that the key political issues are still on the table. “With only ten negotiating days remaining before Paris, governments must accelerate their efforts.”

That recommendation was echoed by the President of the General Assembly, who emphasized how much negotiations launched earlier this month in Bonn must make “substantive progress.”

Highlighting what a “meaningful” agreement in Paris should include, the Secretary-General said that first, it “must” provide a strong signal to governments and markets that the world is committed to building a low-carbon future, “and that there is no going back.”

“Second, an agreement must be durable so that it provides the private sector with the predictability and policy frameworks it needs to invest in clean energy and climate-resilient approaches.”

Third, Mr. Ban continued, it must be flexible so that it can incentivize and incorporate more ambitious, “science-based nationally determined targets over time.” While urging countries that did not submit yet their INDCs to do so as soon as possible, he reminded delegations that these targets “will not be sufficient to place us on a less-than-2-degree pathway.”

“An agreement must therefore enable countries to regularly review progress towards this goal, and encourage more ambitious, nationally determined targets to meet it.”

Such agreement must also uphold the principle of equity, support the adaptation needs of developing countries, and demonstrate solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable countries through a focused package of assistance. Finally, “it must have clear mechanisms for measuring, monitoring and reporting progress on a full range of actions.”

Noting that credible climate financing is essential, the Secretary-General urged developed countries to provide a politically credible trajectory for “mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020” to support developing countries in curbing emissions and strengthening their resilience.

“It is also important to ensure that effective platforms for developing and sharing technologies and innovative research are enhanced”, added the Assembly President in his remarks. “Barriers” to the transfer of green technologies, including intellectual property protection issues, need to be urgently addressed, he said.

“I will proactively engage with leaders from both the global north and south to make sure this goal is met and is considered credible by all,” the Secretary-General assured. “I pledge to you that I will spare no effort to ensure that the world leaders who are responsible for an ambitious agreement in Paris – and the financing needed to implement it – are directly engaged.”