Thursday, February 7, 2013

Biodiversity at the centre of sustainable development: CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias briefs UN Secretary-General, senior UN officials

Montreal, 7 February 2013 – In a working visit to United Nations headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 January 2013, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias briefed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the major outcomes of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11), underlining the importance of these decisions for the sustainable development agenda.

During his meeting with the Secretary-General, Mr. Dias solicited his support for the mainstreaming of biodiversity in the sustainable development agenda of the UN, through system-wide implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets. They further discussed the status of ratifications of the Nagoya Protocol, which the Secretary-General heralded as a “historic breakthrough” and a “major success for the international community” on its adoption in 2010. Also discussed was the support that the UN could provide in facilitating the ratifications necessary for the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol, in order to allow the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol to be convened concurrently with the next COP.

Preparations for COP 12, scheduled to be held in the Republic of Korea 2014, were also touched upon. Mr. Dias also met with a range of senior UN officials. These included HE Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States, to discuss the relevance of the Strategic Plan for the preparations and outcomes of the Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the comprehensive Ten-Year Review Conference of the Almaty Programme of Action: Addressing the Special Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries.

Meetings were also held with the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Africa, HE Maged Abdelaziz; Ms. Amina Mohammed, Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the post-2015 development planning; and, Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, the Secretary-General’s Senior Advisor on Economic Development and Finance and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Mr. Dias briefed them on major developments in the Convention’s processes, especially with regards to the Strategic Plan, and solicited their support for mainstreaming biodiversity in the UN processes to evolve the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agendas.

Enhanced cooperation between the CBD and the UN Funds and Programs, with a view to mainstreaming biodiversity, was discussed in a meeting with Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Collaboration to mainstream gender in biodiversity, based on the Convention’s Gender Action Plan, was discussed with UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet.

Mr. Dias also met with officials in the DESA to discuss preparations for the special briefing event, mandated by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), to be organised in the second committee, during the 68th session of the UNGA; and, officials in the Department of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Seas, to brief them on relevant COP 11 outcomes and possibilities for cooperation.

In his meeting with the Deputy Representative of Kazakhstan, HE Akan Rakhmetullin (representative of the Chairman of the 20th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)), Mr. Dias discussed biodiversity and biotechnology, issues which remain unaddressed in the CSD’s work program, and the need to ensure that biodiversity is given due consideration.

As outreach to, and interactions with, member States and interest groups was a major focus of his visit, Mr. Dias met with the Chairman of the G-77 and Permanent Representative of Fiji, HE Peter Thomson. At a lunch meeting organised by the Embassy of Brazil, he also met with HE Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Permanent Representative of Brazil, the Permanent Representative of India (and a representative of the COP Presidency) HE Hardeep Puri, as well as the Deputy Head of the EU delegation to the UN, HE Ioannis Vrailas.       

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