Review of SDG implementation and interrelations among goals: Discussion on SDG 13 – Climate action including the link to the Climate Action Summit and six action portfolios

Climate change is rapidly unfolding, the world is already experiencing changes in average temperature, shifts in the seasons and an increasing frequency of extreme weather events and other climate change impacts, affecting lives and livelihoods in all regions.

With the adoption of the historic 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, world leaders agreed on a vison and blueprint for action for promoting human well-being and lives in dignity for all on a healthy and prosperous planet. With the adoption of the Katowice Climate Package at COP24, the world has entered a new era in our collective efforts to address climate change. Without the achievement of SDG 13, the achievement of all other SDGs will be undermined. Implementation of climate action and the SDGs is intrinsically linked across all spheres of life on Earth and human society. Increasing ambition and supporting countries to urgently take climate action, including making the most of opportunities to synergistically implement the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda together and carefully considering and managing trade-offs will be strategically decisive for achieving both agendas. Focusing on concrete measures for synergistic implementation will help inform and align the two agendas, thus stimulating corresponding action from multiple stakeholders. Such synergies can be further realized through joined-up consideration of other global frameworks and agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The session will review progress towards SDG 13 and address the inter-linkages of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. In particular, participants in the meeting will share experiences and identify concrete measures for the coherent and synergistic implementation of those agreements in order to maximize sustainable development and climate co-benefits and scale up levels of ambition towards securing the livelihoods for current and future generations.

This session will have an interactive discussion format.

Background note is available here

Information for Expert Group Meeting on SDG13 is available here

Proposed guiding questions:

  • How can we urgently lift the level of ambition for exponential climate action across all sectors, levels and regions?

  • What are the key focus areas for synergistic implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement together and taking advantage of the related opportunities?

  • What are concrete initiatives and successful actions at global, regional and local levels to accelerate climate action and achieve the SDGs in tandem?

  • How can these actions by scaled up? What further action need to be taken to deliver concrete results, making the most of innovative, people-centered and cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships to protect the planet for current and future generations?

  • Where are the gaps in our focus? What are “low hanging fruits” at the global, regional and local levels that enable the exponential increase in ambition for climate action in order to make a real difference in the lives and livelihoods of people?

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Vice President of ECOSOC

Keynote speaker:

  • Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit

Moderator:

  • Mr. Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNFCCC

Resource persons:

  • H.E. Ms. Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment of Chile, and President of COP-25 of UNFCCC

  • Mr. Javier Manzanares, Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund

  • Ms. Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

  • Ms. Leena Srivastava, Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit

Lead discussants:

  • Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Ms. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of ESCWA

  • Mr. Zhao Dong, Chairman of Xiamen Airlines, China

  • Ms. Dimakatso (Nono) Sekhoto, young farmer, WFO, Farmers’ Major Group

Followed by interactive discussion

Biographies
H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale
Vice President of ECOSOC
H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale

Vice President of ECOSOC

H.E. Hilale has been Morocco's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York since April 2014. He is a career diplomat who has served in various posts around the world. Before his appointment in New York, he served as the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN in Geneva starting in 2008. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. From 1996 to 2001, he served in several diplomatic posts. including as Ambassador to Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. Before that he served as a Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and a Member of the International Committee of Legal Experts, in charge of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Chemical Weapons. From 1976 to 1991, Ambassador Hilale served in the Moroccan Embassies in Algiers, Monrovia, Addis Ababa and Geneva. Ambassador Hilale graduated from the Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

H.E. Ms. Carolina Schmidt
Minister of Environment, Chile
H.E. Ms. Carolina Schmidt

Minister of Environment, Chile

Bachelor of Business from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. In the first government of President Sebastián Piñera (2010 – 2014), she was Minister Director of the National Service for Women and Minister of Education.

In August 2018, she assumed as Minister of the Environment of the Second Government of President Sebastián Piñera with a clear stamp: the only way to achieve sustainable development is by considering the care and respect for the environment. Her message is crosscutting: climate action and economic development do not run on parallel lanes; on the contrary, the Minister states that the only way to achieve true sustainable development is the care of the environment; to achieve this, adaptation and mitigation to climate change are key.

When she took office as Minister, she had to live through one of the greatest environmental crises in the country, the crisis that affected the communes of Quintero and Puchuncaví. It was her priority to make of the process of elaboration of the Plan of Prevention and Atmospheric Decontamination for the communes of Concón, Quintero and Puchuncaví, a broad participatory process. The presentation of this Plan was made in December 2018, which contemplates the control and reduction of emissions to companies in the area, with a permanent oversight of the Superintendence of the Environment, the redesign of the monitoring network and the management of critical episodes throughout the year, among other measures.

Mr. Javier Manzanares
Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund
Mr. Javier Manzanares

Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund

Mr. Javier Manzanares is the Deputy Executive Director at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) based in Songdo, Republic of Korea. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Support Services, when he joined the Fund in 2014.

Prior to working for the GCF, Mr Manzanares was Director and Representative of UNOPS in the MERCOSUR region, based in Argentina. He was formerly Division Manager of Investment and Development Banking at the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. Javier also worked as the Executive VP for two privately held banks of Grupo Fierro. His career in banking and finance began with Banco Santander/BSCH in the United States, Hong Kong and Japan.

Mr. Manzanares holds a dual MBA from Northwestern University / Kellogg (USA), an EMBA from Hong Kong University of Sciences & Technology (China) and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at INHA University in South Korea.

Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba
UN SG’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit
Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba

UN SG’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico is the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit. Before his appointment, in November 2018, Mr. de Alba was Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since September 2017. Appointed Ambassador in 2001, he brings distinguished experience as Permanent Representative of Mexico to the Organization of American States, to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the United Nations in New York and to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, among other postings.

As his country’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Mr. de Alba led the negotiations for the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancún, Mexico. He has held several elected positions at the United Nations, including Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (2012) and first President of the Human Rights Council in Geneva (2006-2007). A diplomat since 1983, he undertook various other assignments in Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

Born in 1957, Mr. de Alba holds a degree in international relations from the Institut d´Étude des Relations Internationales in Paris.

Mr. Ovais Sarmad
Deputy Executive Secretary of UNFCCC
Mr. Ovais Sarmad

Deputy Executive Secretary of UNFCCC

Mr. Ovais Sarmad joined the United Nations Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) on 1 September 2017.

Mr. Sarmad supports the Executive Secretary in managing the UNFCCC secretariat and its staff, advising on a range of issues relating to the strategic operations planning and development of the organization.

Previously he served as Chief of Staff to the Director General at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. Mr. Sarmad worked in several management and policy capacities in IOM over a period of 27 years. Prior to the IOM, he worked in the private and public sectors in London, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (GCMA).

Mr. Sarmad graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, as a Bachelor of Commerce.

Mr. Zhao Dong
Chairman of Xiamen Airlines, China (The company partnered with the UN to promote SDGs including SDG 13 on climate actions)
Mr. Zhao Dong

Chairman of Xiamen Airlines, China (The company partnered with the UN to promote SDGs including SDG 13 on climate actions)

Mr. Zhao Dong is the Chairman of Xiamen Airlines and the Chairman of Hebei Airlines. Mr. Zhao Dong is a senior management leader with 33 years of experience in civil aviation. He graduated from the Civil Aviation University of China with a major in air traffic control and from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University with an MBA degree. He also completed the Executive Development Programs (EDP) of School of Management in Xiamen University.

1986-1989, he worked on aeronautical information in the Flight Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). 1989-2000, he worked in the General Flight Operation Department of Xiamen Airlines and served as Director of the Information Office and Manager of Flight Operation Center. He joined in the establishment of Xiamen Airlines Flight Operation Center, and established a dispatching-centered system for guaranteeing organizational operations. In terms of for ground-cabin services, Mr. Zhao stressed the importance of ground handling and efficiency, laying a solid foundation for flight safety.

2000-2006, he assisted Wu Rongnan, the first General Manager of Xiamen Airlines in ensuring security, operations, management, services and external relations.

2006-2016, he served as the Deputy General Manager of Xiamen Airlines to manage marketing, network planning, revenue management, international business, air cargo, cabin-ground services, and brand promotion to vigorously advance the "integration of marketing services." During this period, Xiamen Airlines delivered an impressive business performance, with its Operating Profit Ratio ranking among the top 10 airlines in the world. It successfully joined the SkyTeam Airline Alliance and had been rated as the “Chinese Airline with the Best Service” in mainland China for four consecutive years. Mr. Zhao led and participated in the application for the highest honor in China's quality field, i.e. "China Award for Quality".

December 2016-2019, he served as the General Manager of Xiamen Airlines. Under his leadership, Xiamen Airlines continues to maintain a sound momentum of growth. It currently owns over 200 airplanes, 2 subsidiaries of Hebei Airlines and Jiangxi Airlines, and branches and offices in 45 cities across Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, with nearly 500 routes in operation globally. It is the only airline company in China with profitability for 32 consecutive years, which is also a rarity in the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping commended Xiamen Airlines as the “epitome of the development of China's aviation industry for its good performance”.

In February 2017, Mr. Zhao promoted the signing of an SDGs agreement between Xiamen Airlines and the United Nations. Hence Xiamen Airlines becomes the first airline in the world to work with the United Nations on SDGs.

February 2019-present, he serves as the Chairman of Xiamen Airlines.

Ms. Dimakatso (Nono) Sekhoto
Young farmer, WFO, Farmers’ Major Group
Ms. Dimakatso (Nono) Sekhoto

Young farmer, WFO, Farmers’ Major Group

BCom Fin Acc (UP), Post Grad Diploma Cert. Financial Planning (UFS), Cert. in Agri. Enterprise Management (UP), Entrepreneurship Programme (GIBS), Micro, SME & Agri. Finance (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)

Dimakatso started her career in wealth and investment management space, then further broaded her career into the agriculture sector. Since 2011 she has focused on primary agriculture, start-up agribusiness development and youth development in the industry. She is a member of the National Executive Council for African Farmers Association of SA (AFASA) and since 2016 as the AFASA Youth Chairperson, has established the youth portfolio to runs various programme nationwide. Her exposure in the industry has led her to build strong networks and to participate in high level discussion, on national and international platforms, and has collaborated with various stakeholder to contribute to the transformation agenda of the agricultural industry in her country. She currently leads the GrowhtShoot team, with established partner, that consults on designing and implementing programme focused on enterprise development in the sector.

Dimakatso has been awarded to patriciate in the Goldman Sacks GIBS 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Programme (2012), Oklahoma State University Entrepreneurship Fellowship (2014), The Presidential Working Group (2016), World Farmers Organisation Young Farmer Leaders Gymnasium (2017 -2019), and awarded the Distinguished Youth Leadership for her excellence in leadership for youth in agriculture.

Ms. Leena Srivastava
Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit
Ms. Leena Srivastava

Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit

Dr. Leena Srivastava is the Vice Chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi – an inter-disciplinary higher education institution, focussed on sustainable development. She has a Masters in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a Ph.D in Energy Economics from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

She is a Co- Chair, Science Advisory Group, UN Secretary Generals 2019 Climate Action Summit; and Co-Chair, Future Earth; and member of: President's Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank; Ad Hoc Informal Multi-stakeholder Technical Group of Advisors on Sustainable Development Goal 7, United Nations, Division for Sustainable Development; Global Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network; the International Advisory Panel of Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany, the Carbon Trust Advisory Panel, UK;. the Research Advisory Committee, WWF-India, Council of Advisors for Fraunhofer, India. She has recently been recognized as an IIASA Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

She is also an Independent and Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Bharti Infratel Ltd. and Shree Cement Ltd., India. She serves on the Sustainable Development Advisory Board, Caterpillar Inc. USA; the Sustainability Advisory Board of Cairn Energy, Vedanta Resources and Consocia Advisory, India

Ms. Mami Mizutori
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations
Ms. Mami Mizutori

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations

Mami Mizutori is the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, based in Geneva, Switzerland. She assumed her role on 1 March 2018.

The role of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is to support countries and stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). The Special Representative ensures the strategic and operational coherence between disaster risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development agendas as well as the linkage with the UN Secretary-General’s prevention agenda and with humanitarian action. Ms. Mizutori served for twenty-seven years in various capacities in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Mizutori was Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia, UK, since 2011. Ms. Mizutori graduated in law from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo and obtained a Diploma in International Studies from the Diplomatic School of Spain.

A Japanese national, Ms. Mizutori speaks Japanese, English and Spanish.

Ms. Penny Abeywardena
Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
Ms. Penny Abeywardena

Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

Penny leads the City's global platform for promoting its goals for a more just society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers and sharing policies and best practices with the world. Her agency serves the largest diplomatic corps in the world, including strategic partnerships and programming reaffirming NYC’s local leadership on global issues.

From 2009-2014, Penny was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she led the program's evolution into one of CGI's most successful efforts.

Penny is a French-American Foundation Young Leader (2017) and a WEF Young Global Leader (2016).

Ms. Rola Dashti
Executive Secretary of ESCWA
Ms. Rola Dashti

Executive Secretary of ESCWA

Ms. Dashti is a leading Kuwaiti economist and long-time champion of women’s rights, gender equality and democratic reform. She served as member of the Supreme Planning Council in Kuwait. From 2012 to 2014, she was Minister for Planning and Development and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs. Ms. Dashti played a pivotal role in advocating for a decree to allow Kuwaiti women to vote and run for parliamentary elections. In May 2009, she and three others became the first women to be elected to the Kuwait parliament.

She has held key positions in research and development institutions, such as the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and has worked for major national and international financial and development institutions, such as the National Bank of Kuwait and the World Bank. She also managed contracts for the Kuwaiti Emergency and Reconstruction Program during the invasionto-post liberation period.

She is a regular contributor to regional and international policy forums on global governance, economic development and integration, democratization, and women’s empowerment in the MENA region.

She has served as chairperson for the Arab Planning Institute, and for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for the MENA region. She was a member of the advisory panel for the World Bank on Middle East political and economic transition, of the advisory council for the Arab Human Development Report 2009, of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in Kuwait, and of the Executive Committee of Young Arab LeadersKuwait Chapter. She served on the executive board of the Pan-Arab Women Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Violence against Women, and on the board of the Arab Women Parliamentarians Network for Equality (Ra’edat).

She won the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe for 2010 together with Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev. She also received the Clinton Global Citizens Award for 2009, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for 2006, and the King Hussein Humanitarian award for 2005. She is listed among the top 150 women leaders by Business Week, among the top 20 businesswomen in the Arab region by the Financial Times, and among the world’s 100 most powerful Arabs by Arabian Business. She was featured in The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East as a leader and a champion for women’s rights from Kuwait.

Ms. Dashti holds a doctorate degree in population dynamics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a master’s degree in economics and finance from California State University in Sacramento, and a bachelor of science in agriculture economics from California State University in Chico. She speaks Arabic and English fluently.

Statements
Statements
Intervention of the Local Authorities Major Group
Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit
Mr. Zhao Dong, Chairman of Xiamen Airlines, China (in Chinese)
Mr. Zhao Dong, Chairman of Xiamen Airlines, China (in English)
Ms. Dimakatso (Nono) Sekhoto, young farmer, WFO, Farmers’ Major Group
Ms. Leena Srivastava, Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit
Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
Ms. Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
Ms. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of ESCWA
Volunteer Groups Alliance
United Nations