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World: SIPRI Policy Brief: Climate Change, Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace (June 2019)

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Mali, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, World

FLORIAN KRAMPE

Building peace is never straightforward but there is an increasing awareness that the challenge will become exponentially more difficult in countries where climate change is amplifying social and political instability. Eight of the ten countries hosting the most multilateral peace operations personnel in 2018 are located in areas highly exposed to climate change (see table 1). Nonetheless, international efforts to build and maintain peace are not yet taking these emerging challenges systematically into account. This is concerning because the interactions between climate change and violent conflict prolong the latter, inhibit peacebuilding and increase the human costs of war.

Climate-related changes compound social, economic and political challenges, especially in regions in which agriculture is an important source of livelihoods. This results in climate-related security risks, which also means an increased likelihood of violent conflict. However, the impacts are temporally and spatially diverse, because different social, political and economic contexts and processes are exacerbated by different climate-related changes. The same is true of peacebuilding. Social, political and economic contexts shape both the conditions for and the sequencing of peacebuilding activities and determine the pathways for sustaining peace. After decades of top-down peacebuilding efforts, policy actors now realize that peacebuilding offers better pathways to peace when it is bottom-up, inclusive and able to address the grievances that gave rise to the conflict and those that result from war.

Drawing together insights from several past and ongoing research efforts, this policy brief offers insights on how climate-related security risks affect peacebuilding and makes recommendations to help future peacebuilding efforts become more climate-sensitive.

SUMMARY

  • Eight of the ten countries hosting the most multilateral peace operations personnel in 2018 are located in areas highly exposed to climate change. As such, climate change is not just an issue of human security—it is transforming the entire security landscape. Nonetheless, international efforts to build and maintain peace are not yet taking these emerging challenges systematically into account.

This policy brief illustrates how climate change impacts the efficacy of peacebuilding, specifically the aim (a) to provide peace and security; (b) to strengthen governance and justice; and (c) to ensure social and economic development.

To better prepare for and adequately respond to what are increasingly complex peacebuilding contexts, peacebuilding efforts must become more climate-sensitive. Especially there is a need to (a) properly assess climaterelated security risks; (b) increase cross-agency knowledge exchange and learning; and (c) maximize synergies and realize climate action as opportunities to build sustainable peace.

This work is supported by funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research Mistra Geopolitics program and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs as part of SIPRI’s Climate Change and Security Project.


World: Chairman’s Statement of the 34th ASEAN Summit, Bangkok, 23 June 2019, Advancing Partnership for Sustainability

Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Country: World

  1. We, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, gathered in Bangkok for the 34th ASEAN Summit on 23 June 2019. We emphasised the importance of advancing partnership for sustainability to achieve a people-centred, people-oriented and forward-looking ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind in the rapidly changing regional and global environment.

  2. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining ASEAN Centrality and unity in our Community-building efforts and engagement with external partners. We reiterated the need to maintain a sustainable, resilient and forward-looking ASEAN-centred regional architecture and agreed to continue promoting synergy among the various ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).

  3. We reaffirmed our shared commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

KEY DELIVERABLES

  1. We adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on “Partnership for Sustainability”, which aims to ensure sustainability in all dimensions, including sustainable security through the deepening of strategic trust, sustainable economic growth and sustainable development as well as sustainable human security. It also emphasises continuity and sustainability in ASEAN’s Community-building efforts and policies, in partnership with stakeholders within ASEAN and with the international community, to realise enduring peace, stability and prosperity in the region for the benefit of the people of ASEAN.

  2. We recognised the progress made in enhancing inclusive sustainable development cooperation, particularly by promoting complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Complementarities Initiative) including through the development of a Complementarities Roadmap and other feasible projects to generate concrete benefits for the people of the region. We look forward to the establishment of an ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue in Thailand as a concrete step to steer sustainable development cooperation in ASEAN.

ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY

  1. We reaffirmed the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as the key code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region and underscored its relevance to the wider region. We welcomed the interest of non-regional countries to accede to the TAC, displaying their political will and commitment to ASEAN’s fundamental principles in promoting peace, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation among nations.

  2. We reiterated our commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter. We stressed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty, including under the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty (2018-2022). We reaffirmed our commitment to continuously engage the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and intensify the ongoing efforts of all Parties to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the SEANWFZ Treaty. Our ASEAN experts could explore ways to bridge the differences, including the possibility of engaging with NWS experts. We will continue to submit the biennial SEANWFZ Resolution through the First Committee to the UNGA.

  3. We agreed to strengthen cooperation on border management as reflected in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and in accordance with respective domestic laws and policies, to better safeguard the increasingly interconnected and integrated ASEAN Community by having the relevant sectoral bodies discuss common concerns such as transnational crimes, trafficking in persons, illegal timber and wildlife trafficking, illicit drug trafficking and cross-border challenges including pandemics while facilitating cross-border trade and movement of people. To this end we looked forward to discussions under relevant sectoral bodies to further enhance the effectiveness of existing relevant ASEAN mechanisms on border management cooperation and explore possible border management cooperation arrangements.

  4. We acknowledged that the defence sectoral body, under the ambit of the ADMM, continues to consolidate its work this year under the theme of 3S’s, namely: (i) Sustainable Security; (ii) Strengthening, consolidating and optimising defence cooperation; and (iii) Supporting cross-pillar and cross-sectoral activities. The Leaders welcomed the inclusion of the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine (ACMM) as a subsidiary body under the ADMM in Annex 1 of the ASEAN Charter. We look forward to a number of major exercises and activities to be conducted under the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups (EWG), which will culminate in the work of the current 2017-2020 cycle. We welcomed the new set of CoChairs of the EWG for the upcoming 2020-2023 cycle starting at the ADSOM-Plus in 2020 in Viet Nam, which have been recently endorsed to move forward with practical defence cooperation in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, maritime security, counter-terrorism, military medicine, humanitarian mine action and cybersecurity.

  5. We agreed to enhance cybersecurity cooperation and the building of an open, secure, stable, accessible and resilient cyberspace supporting the digital economy of the ASEAN region through a feasible coordination mechanism for ASEAN cyber discussions, implementing practical confidence-building measures and adopting a set of common, voluntary and nonbinding norms of responsible State behaviour in cyberspace as per the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation,including the Ministers’ guidance in developing an ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, as well as supporting the cybersecurity activities and training programmes of the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) in Singapore and the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) in Bangkok, which will complement existing ASEAN efforts in cybersecurity capacity-building.

  6. We commended the significant progress made and reaffirmed our commitment in the fight against transnational crimes, particularly in the areas of trafficking in persons and counter-terrorism, including by strengthening cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration through the full implementation of the Bohol Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Work Plan 2017- 2020 and the development of the Work Plan of the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism 2018-2025. We reaffirmed our commitment to addressing the scourge of drugs through the delivery of the Joint ASEAN Statement at the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) in March 2019 and the Joint ASEAN Statement Against Legalisation of Controlled Drugs at the 5th CND Intersessional Meeting in November 2018, thereby reaffirming ASEAN’s unity in maintaining a zero tolerance approach to drugs and promoting communities free of drug abuse.

  7. We commended the work of the ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting (ALAWMM) and the ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM) in the field of legal and judicial cooperation including on the issue of extradition and further encourage them to commence deliberation on an ASEAN Extradition Treaty. We were pleased to note further achievement in judicial cooperation in the form of endorsement by ASEAN Member States to elevate the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters into an ASEAN Treaty and welcomed the elevation of the ASEAN Ministers/Attorneys-General Meeting of the Central Authorities on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (AMAG-MLAT) and the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Central Authorities on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (SOM-MLAT) as an ASEAN Sectoral Bodies under the ASEAN Political-Security Community in Annex 1 of the ASEAN Charter.

13, We reaffirmed our commitment to promoting tolerance, moderation and respect for diversity as well as to promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms as they are core principles of ASEAN, and in this context, we underscored the importance of addressing effectively the challenges posed by violent extremism.

  1. We noted with satisfaction the progress of AICHR in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN. We also noted that this year, 2019, marks a decade of the establishment of AICHR. In this regard, we encourage AICHR to further continue its work in mainstreaming human rights across all three pillars of the ASEAN Community and in implementing its mandate to promote and protect human rights in a full and effective manner.

  2. We were pleased to note the progress made on the consideration of Timor-Leste’s application for ASEAN Membership, with all three Pillars preparing for their respective factfinding missions to Timor-Leste, and look forward to the outcomes of the aforementioned missions. We also reiterated our readiness to provide capacity-building assistance to Timor-Leste.

  3. We took note of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR)’s efforts in promoting peace, conflict management and conflict resolution through its various activities.

ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY

  1. We reaffirmed our commitment towards further economic integration. We welcomed Brunei Darussalam for joining 5 AMS (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) in the live operation of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and looked forward to the remaining ASEAN Member States being on board within this year to achieve full regional coverage of the ASW. We reiterated the significant role that trade facilitation plays in creating an inclusive and sustainable ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). We urged timely implementation of regional initiatives, such as the ASEAN-wide Self-Certification Scheme (AWSCS) and the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS). We welcomed the finalisation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Type Approval for Automotive Products (APMRA) and look forward to its signing and subsequent implementation.

  2. We recognised that the global economy is at an important crossroad with an increasing number of uncertainties and challenges. In this regard, we reiterated our strong commitment to concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations within 2019 to reinvigorate international trade and to maintain ASEAN credibility and centrality. We urged the RCEP Ministers and officials to redouble their efforts to reach this target, guided by the RCEP Work Plan 2019 which was endorsed by the Ministers at the intersessional meeting in Siem Reap in March 2019. We also called for relevant ASEAN partners to prioritise the RCEP negotiations and to work with ASEAN to conclude the RCEP negotiations within this year.

  3. We recognised that financial cooperation and integration remain important for a strong and stable ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), especially at this time of heightened global uncertainties. We welcomed the signing of the Protocol to Implement the Eighth Package of Commitments on Financial Services under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) by ASEAN Finance Ministers on 5 April 2019, which underscores our strong commitment in advancing linkages among AMS by further opening market access in the financial services sector. We noted that negotiations for the 9th Protocol have commenced and encouraged ASEAN Member States to make substantial commitments for its early finalisation, in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (SAP) 2025. We noted the endorsement of ASEAN Capital Markets Forum’s (ACMF) initiative to create the Roadmap for ASEAN Sustainable Capital Markets by the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on 5 April 2019 in Chiang Rai, Thailand as well as ongoing work on innovative financing approaches through Inclusive Finance Facility and the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, and connectivity through local currency settlement and cross-border retail payments. We reaffirmed our commitment to accelerate infrastructure development and financing in ASEAN through the mobilisation of private capital. We also recognised the importance of keeping abreast of technological advancements and the digital economy for the benefit of the region’s growth and development. We welcomed efforts to encourage the ASEAN banking community to gradually adopt the principles of sustainable finance into business practices. We underscored the importance of the use of local currencies to promote trade and investment in our region. We also welcomed the continued efforts in developing a regional framework to facilitate the integration of real-time retail payment system in ASEAN, including the progress on the Thailand and Singapore payment system linkage and look forward to its live-operation by the first half of 2020.

  4. We welcomed the signing of the Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on 2 March 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and looked forward to its early implementation. We also welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA), and the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Investment Agreement (AHKIA), respectively on June 11th and June 17th. We expressed confidence that the trade and investment opportunities arising from these agreements and other ASEAN Plus One FTAs would further stimulate growth and development in the region.

  5. We remained concerned over the unabating tide of protectionism and antiglobalisation sentiments that continue to plague the global economy and put the multilateral trading system under threat. Amidst the challenges faced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), there is a need to preserve and strengthen the dispute settlement mechanism being the WTO’s unique system in settling trade disputes. We therefore reaffirmed our strong commitment to upholding an inclusive, transparent, and rules-based multilateral trading system. We also noted the work that is being undertaken to reform and modernise the World Trade Organization (WTO) and reiterated our full support to this endeavor.

  6. We noted the deep concern of some ASEAN Member States on issues relating to unfair market access and treatment for palm oil. We reaffirmed our support for the concerned Member States’ efforts to address the sustainability of palm oil, including their continued engagement with relevant parties.

  7. We welcomed the significant progress in implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 towards a seamless and competitive ASEAN Community. To address the sustainable infrastructure needs of the region and unlock opportunities, we are pleased to note that the development of the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects has progressed well and look forward to the launch of the ASEAN Infrastructure Projects at the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Complementing the efforts to advance sustainable infrastructure, we also welcomed the commencement of work on the development of an ASEAN database on trade routes and framework for enhancing supply chain efficiency. We emphasised the importance of promoting links and interface between ASEAN and sub-regional arrangements as well as between ASEAN MPAC 2025 and the connectivity strategies of other countries and regions, using the “Connecting the Connectivities” approach, which could broaden and deepen our partnerships on connectivity. We commended the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC), the Lead Implementing Bodies (LIBs) and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies for their strong support to the implementation of MPAC 2025, and appreciated the continuous contributions of our Dialogue Partners and external parties.

  8. We encouraged cooperation in the pursuit of ASEAN as a single tourism destination which promotes responsible, sustainable, inclusive and balanced tourism development, so as to contribute significantly to the socio-economic well-being of ASEAN people. We also supported the liberalisation of air services under the ASEAN Single Aviation Market, including through efforts to harmonise and enhance air traffic operations through the establishment of a Seamless ASEAN Sky.

  9. We underlined the need for a more holistic approach to prepare ASEAN for the challenges brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We noted the ongoing work on the development of the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan (DIFAP) 2015-2025, ASEAN Innovation Roadmap 2019-2025, ASEAN Declaration on Industrial Transformation to Industry 4.0, Guideline on Skilled Labour/Professional Services Development in Response to the 4IR, and initiatives related to the digitalisation of ASEAN micro enterprises. We commended the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) for its 2019 legacy project entitled “ASEAN Human Empowerment and Development (AHEAD)”, which focuses on human capital development to embrace the 4IR. We encouraged strengthening partnerships between all relevant sectoral bodies, stakeholders, as well as the private sectors to better prepare for and fully harness the 4IR as highlighted by the ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Retreat in March 2019 in Phuket. We commended the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for publishing the “ASEAN Vision 2040: Towards a Bolder and Stronger ASEAN Community” report which provides recommendations on how to most effectively prepare ASEAN for the future, particularly the 4IR.

  10. We welcomed the holding of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) Roundtable Meeting and Conference on Smart and Sustainable Cities to discuss the ASCN Terms of Reference and the ASCN Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework that would further institutionalise the ASCN on 6-7 June 2019 in Bangkok. We encouraged the ASCN pilot cities to continue to implement their city action plans.

  11. We commended the convening of the ASEAN Meeting on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in partnership with the European Union (EU) on 4-5 April 2019 in Bangkok which is aimed at: (i) exchanging experiences and expertise on policies, regulations, and best practices to combat IUU fishing; (ii) strengthening cooperation on combating IUU activities among the enforcement agencies, authorities and other relevant stakeholders in ASEAN through effective implementation of existing mechanisms under ASEAN, including relevant international law and instruments; (iii) implementing sustainable fisheries management and cooperation; and (iv) exploring the possibility of establishing an ASEAN IUU Network.

  12. We also commended the initiative of the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade (SAMM-IWT) which aimed to enhance regional efforts to reduce demand for IW products, strengthen law enforcement, and encourage ASEAN Member States to monitor the online IW.

  13. We welcomed ongoing sub-regional economic cooperation efforts which continue to serve as catalysts for economic growth and sustainable development and for reinforcing regional economic integration and connectivity, such as the Brunei Darussalam-IndonesiaMalaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Indonesia-MalaysiaThailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) processes, as well as new initiatives such as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), all of which will help complement ASEAN Community-building.

ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY

  1. We are committed to consolidating and strengthening regional cooperation in culture-related areas through the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019 with the theme of ‘Diversity, Creativity, and Sustainability’. We looked forward to vibrant cultural exchanges among the ASEAN Member States, including the Best of ASEAN Performing Arts 2019. We also welcomed the planned ‘ASEAN Cultural Troupe: Oneness to the World’, the cultural showcases in the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) countries and other parts of the world, and other related activities to bring a unified voice through ASEAN cultures and heritage to global audiences. In raising ASEAN identity and awareness, we appreciated the convening of the ASEAN University Students Council Union conference, the intra-ASEAN scholarships program and the contribution of the ASEAN Cultural Center in Bangkok.

  2. We welcomed the shared wish of ASEAN to develop a joint bid to host a FIFA World Cup and supported the efforts of national football associations of ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Football Federation to realise this goal.

  3. We noted with satisfaction the adoption of the Concept Note and Terms of Reference for the Network of ASEAN Associations of the ASEAN Member States by the 23rd ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting, which aims at promoting greater public awareness of ASEAN and its identity, as well as strengthening and broadening grass-roots support for the ASEAN Community within ASEAN Member States. We also looked forward to the first annual meeting of the Network in Thailand in 2019.

  4. We agreed on the need to strengthen ASEAN preparedness to deal with the trends of an ageing society, as well as the promotion of better social safety nets, through the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) and the development of an ASEAN Training Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare (ATCSW) this year.

  5. We noted the development of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Culture of Prevention to implement the ASEAN Declaration on Culture for Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society adopted in 2017 in particular the outreach campaigns of the six priorities of Culture of Prevention that will commence in 2019 and 2020.

  6. In ensuring a competitive workforce equipped with future-ready skills, we noted the signing of the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Statement on the Future of Work: Embracing Technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth, as well as the finalisation of the Future ASEAN Agenda on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). We further noted the adoption of the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Joint Statement on Green Initiative to the 108th International Labour Conference by the ASEAN Labour Ministers and emphasised the need to promote business and human rights based on the United Nations’ ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework.

  7. We noted the ongoing efforts to implement the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OOSCY) adopted at the 28th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Lao PDR in 2016, including the development of a regional action plan for the implementation of the said Declaration.

  8. We shared a concern for the multi-faceted impact and risks of climate change and climate-related disasters on the people of ASEAN. We welcomed the positive outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Katowice Climate Change Conference in 2018, and reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to advancing climate action towards the achievement of our respective Nationally Determined Contributions in implementing the Paris Agreement. We look forward to furthering progress at the upcoming UNFCCC Santiago Climate Change Conference as well as the UN Climate Action Summit 2019. We recognised the importance of a people-oriented and people-centred approach in dealing with climate change and will continue to enhance our communication, education and public awareness on climate change, as well as environmental protection.

  9. We recognised that our region is prone to natural disasters, which cause disruptions to the socio-economic development and people’s ways of lives. We reiterated our support for the operationalisation of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region. We also commended the work of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) enhancing ASEAN’s capabilities and cooperation in disaster management and emergency response. In this regard, we welcomed the establishment of an ASEAN Satellite Warehouse in Chai Nat, Thailand, and looked forward to the launch of the ASEAN Satellite Warehouse in Manila, the Philippines in 2019 under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA), which will enhance the mobilisation and delivery of relief items rapidly to disaster-affected areas. We also look forward towards the operationalisation of ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (AMRG on HADR) which will help reinforce ASEAN’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities to respond to disasters effectively under a single ASEAN banner. We also agreed on the need to strengthen regional collaboration on public health at the national and regional levels in line with the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) through the operationalisation of the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Disaster Health Management. We also welcomed the endorsement of the Phase 2 Plan of Action of the ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (ADRFI), that would support the provision of disaster risk financing and insurance solutions in the region, to close ASEAN’s protection gap and reinforce ASEAN’s disaster resilience.

  10. We shared a concern over the high and rapidly increasing levels of marine debris and acknowledged the urgent need for strong regional collaboration among ASEAN Member States and with partners to effectively address this issue. We therefore welcomed the convening of the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris on 5 March 2019 in Bangkok. We adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region and welcomed the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris to strengthen collaborative action among ASEAN Member States and partners to prevent and significantly reduce marine debris, produced from both sea-based and land-based activities.

  11. We noted that transboundary haze pollution, arising from land and forest fires remains a major concern in the region. We reiterated our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) and the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation Towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation (the Roadmap) to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020. We looked forward to the conducting of the Mid-Term Review on the implementation of the Roadmap to take stock of the implementation progress and to sustain momentum in ensuring concrete improvements towards achieving the vision of the Roadmap. We looked forward to the establishment and full operationalisation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution under the AATHP which will provide a strategic framework for the implementation of collaborative actions, to address transboundary haze pollution in the ASEAN region.

  12. We recognised the challenges of biodiversity conservation and the impact of climate change in ASEAN, in particular activities relating to the loss of biodiversity. We noted the positive outcome of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt in 2018. We recognised the progress made in implementing conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity of the region to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, with the support of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, and encouraged all ASEAN Member States to join the preparation of the Post-2020 biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity taking into account the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals.

  13. We reaffirmed our support for a more visible and enhanced role of ASEAN to support Myanmar in providing humanitarian assistance, facilitating the repatriation process with regard to the situation in Rakhine State, and promoting sustainable development. We appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of ASEAN (ASG), the AHA Centre, and officials from the Government of Myanmar in conducting the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) Mission, which was based on the mandate given by ASEAN. We agreed for the ASG to go further with the recommendations contained in the PNA, including those that focus on capacity building, dissemination of information and support to the provision of basic services in Rakhine State, and recognised the need for adequate resources for these activities. We underscored the importance of prioritisation of the basic services that would receive support and the usefulness of exploring cooperation with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners on possible support. We welcomed the compilation of information by the ASEAN Secretariat regarding the cooperation and assistance voluntarily extended by ASEAN Member States to Myanmar to address the humanitarian situation, which will facilitate enhanced ASEAN coordination on this matter.

  14. We stressed the importance of and expressed our continued support for Myanmar’s commitment to ensure safety and security for all communities in Rakhine State as effectively as possible and facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure and dignified manner. We looked forward to the full implementation of the MOU between Myanmar Government, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and to the continued and effective dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh to facilitate the repatriation process of displaced persons from Rakhine State. We stressed the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives. We encouraged Myanmar to continue to implement the remaining recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. We expect that the Independent Commission of Enquiry established by the Government of Myanmar would seek accountability by carrying out an independent and impartial investigation into alleged human rights violations and related issues. We also reaffirmed ASEAN’s support for Myanmar’s efforts to bring peace, stability, the rule of law, to promote harmony and reconciliation among the various communities as well as to ensure sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State.

  15. We noted the work of the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) and look forward to the adoption of the Terms of Reference of ACMW this year. We were pleased to note the on-going implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers by the ASEAN Member States through its action plan and filling up of the self-assessment tool, and acknowledged notable progress in the empowerment of women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons in the ASEAN region. We looked forward to the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the finalisation of the Regional Plan of Action to Implement the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN. We also reaffirmed the commitment to promote the women, peace and security agenda in the ASEAN region as outlined in the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN by building on existing frameworks, such as the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry, under the ASEAN Institute of Peace and Reconciliation.

  16. We noted the continued progress in the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the on-going monitoring and evaluation of the capacity building activities. We expressed appreciation to ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners and external parties for the financial and technical assistance provided in implementing the IAI Work Plan III and recognised the important role of sub-regional cooperation framework in delivering the benefits of the ASEAN Community to the less developed areas of Member States, with the aim of achieving inclusive and equitable development. In this regard, we encouraged deeper cooperation among the sub-regional groupings and with the ASEAN Secretariat to promote greater coordination of sub-regional and regional initiatives, where applicable. We will continue our collective efforts in the rural development to serve as an essential strategy to eradicate poverty and eliminate urbanrural development gap. We encouraged further convergence of rural development and poverty eradication initiatives at the local, national and regional levels under the ASEAN Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (RDPE) 2016- 2020.

  17. We also agreed to comprehensively address the underlying causes of malnutrition and associated diseases to improve the quality of life of ASEAN peoples for a more vibrant and dynamic region, consistent with the vision of the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Ending All Forms of Malnutrition.

  18. We recognised the pivotal role of our civil service in providing coordinated, efficient, effective and responsive public services to the peoples of ASEAN. We commended the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM) for its role in the promotion of good governance principles in public management towards efficient, citizen-centric, and accountable civil services in ASEAN. In this regard, we look forward to the finalisation of the ASEAN Statement on Promotion of Good Governance and Acceleration of an Agile Civil Service in a Digital Economy.

ASEAN EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  1. We noted with satisfaction the strengthening of relations with our Dialogue Partners, Sectoral Dialogue Partners and Development Partners through existing frameworks, Plans of Action (POAs) and development cooperation programmes. We acknowledge with appreciation the contribution of these partnerships to ASEAN Community-building efforts. We looked forward to the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Dialogue Relations in November in Busan, Republic of Korea this year to further strengthen the partnership between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea.

  2. We took note of the growing interests from countries and regional organisations outside of the region to engage and develop stronger cooperation with ASEAN including through the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN with the 91 Ambassadors of non-ASEAN Member States accredited to ASEAN (NAAAs). We noted that ASEAN’s partnerships with external partners as well as international and regional organisations are vital to address global issues and to promote sustainable development for the benefit of our people. We also welcomed the role of the ASEAN Committees in Third Countries and International Organisations to promote ASEAN’s interest and forge partnerships in the respective host countries and international organisations. We also welcomed the presence of two ASEAN Member States, Indonesia and Viet Nam, as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and looked forward to the further strengthening of the ASEAN-UN comprehensive partnership and cooperation.

  3. We underscored the important role of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation framework, in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in East Asian region.We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthening and deepening the APT process which plays a key role in regional community building efforts with ASEAN as the driving force. We agreed to further strengthen APT cooperation by implementing the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022. We also look forward to the continued implementation of the East Asia Vision Group II recommendations aimed at promoting cooperation in East Asia.

  4. We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region, in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the EAS and based on the established objectives, principles and modalities of the EAS. We agreed to further strengthen the EAS by implementing the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative (2018-2022). We welcomed the continued discussions and efforts to strengthen the EAS. We encouraged creating synergy between the EAS and other ASEAN-led mechanisms, and noted the need to strengthen EAS cooperation in response to emerging issues and challenges that affect peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

  5. We reaffirmed the important role of the ARF as a prime platform for cooperation and constructive dialogue on political and security issues of common concern in the AsiaPacific region. We noted the continuation of practical activities under the ARF areas of cooperation towards the full implementation of the 2010 ARF Hanoi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement.

REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  1. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. We welcomed efforts to complete the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text by this year. We emphasised the need to maintain an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. We stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties.

  2. We discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of some concerns on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise selfrestraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and selfrestraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.

  3. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula and welcomed the initiatives and efforts by ROK, the United States, and China to promote dialogue with the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK). We urged all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working towards the realisation of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration and the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK leaders. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. We also underscored the importance of ASEAN-led platforms such as the ARF in promoting a conducive atmosphere to peaceful dialogue amongst the parties concerned.

  4. We adopted the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific which will help guide ASEAN’s engagement and cooperation in the wider Indo-Pacific region. We reaffirmed ASEAN centrality, inclusiveness, complementarities, a rules-based order anchored upon international law, and commitment to advancing economic engagement in the region as the main principles of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. In this regard, ASEAN-led mechanisms can serve as platforms for dialogue and implementation of Indo-Pacific cooperation. We encouraged external partners to support and undertake cooperation with ASEAN on the key areas outlined in the Outlook as their contribution to maintaining peace, freedom and prosperity in the region. We commended the efforts taken by all ASEAN Member States, in particular Indonesia for taking the lead in this regard, in finalising the Outlook which embodies ASEAN unity, centrality and leadership in the evolving regional architecture.

  5. We expressed appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for providing ASEAN Secretariat’s new premises. We looked forward to the inauguration of the new building on 8 August 2019 in conjunction with the 52nd Anniversary of the founding of ASEAN. We looked forward to the convening of more meetings at the new premises which will not only strengthen ties, but also enhance ASEAN’s mission to promote ASEAN Centrality to the global community.


Somalia: EU, FAO and Somaliland government launch a new initiative to improve land and water management

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Somalia

24 June 2019, Hargeisa - The European Union Delegation to the Federal Republic of Somalia jointly with the Government of Somaliland and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today launched in Hargeisa the Integrated Land and Water Management (ILWRM) Project. The event was graced by the EU Charge d'Affairs Dr. Hjordis D'Agostino Ogendo and representatives of the Ministries of Planning, Agriculture and Environment, Livestock, Water and the Agency for Disaster Management as well as other Somali and International partners and stakeholders.

The Project, with an overall EU contribution of EUR 3.2 million (shared with Puntland where the project will also be implemented), will support the establishment of an Information Management Centre which will inform the Somaliland Government on Water and Land resources management.

The Somaliland Minister of Finance Development and acting Minister of Planning and National Development, Hon. Dr. Saad Ali Shire, appreciated the collaboration and support from the EU and the partnership with FAO. The Minister highlighted the importance of the project to improve access to water for local communities in a context like Somaliland constantly affected by increasing natural emergencies such as drought and where natural resources are scarce and progressively deteriorating.

"Water and land are critical resources for Somali economy and people's livelihoods but are also extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. While access to water needs to increase, needed infrastructures are to be designed and managed in a sustainable way on the basis of adequate plans and information. This project was designed with this purpose” said Dr. Hjordis Ogendo, EU Charge d'Affairs.

The projects builds on the expertise and information accumulated during more than 10 years by FAO SWALIM and will create the conditions for a progressive transfer of capacity and responsibility to the Government. It will work as a pilot for further expansion to all the country, expressed Mr. Etienne Peterschmitt, Head of Programme of FAO.

The ILWRM Project will strengthen the capacity of all responsible Government institutions creating an Inter-ministerial Information Management Centre able to provide all the information and services required to design strategies, plans and infrastructures to improve access to water and sustainable use of land resources, especially for rural communities.


World: UNHCR Global Report 2018

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: World

UNHCR IN 2018

Mission

The High Commissioner for Refugees is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. As of December 2018, 149 States are parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and/or to its 1967 Protocol.

UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. In its efforts to achieve this objective, the Office strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, UNHCR also seeks lasting solutions to their plight.

UNHCR’s Executive Committee (102 Member States as of October 2018) and the UN General Assembly have authorized involvement with other groups. These include former refugees who have returned to their homeland, internally displaced people, and persons who are stateless or whose nationality is disputed. As of December 2018, 91 States are parties to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and 73 to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

The Office seeks to reduce situations of forced displacement by encouraging States and other institutions to create conditions which are conducive to the protection of human rights and the peaceful resolution of disputes. In all of its activities, it pays particular attention to the needs of children and seeks to promote the equal rights of women and girls.

The Office carries out its work in collaboration with many partners, including governments, regional organizations, and international and nongovernmental organizations. It is committed to the principle of participation, believing that refugees and others who benefit from the Office's activities should be consulted over decisions which affect their lives.


Jordan: Climate change, conflict and resilience: Debating humanitarian policy at a high-level roundtable in Amman

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: Jordan

Amman (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Jordan Red Crescent Society (JRCS) co-hosted a policy dialogue on climate change, conflict and resilience on 19 June in Amman. The roundtable was jointly organized with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCClimate) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The roundtable provided a platform for 35 representatives of local authorities, humanitarian and development partners, researchers and donors working in the Middle East to discuss the interconnected vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change and conflict on populations and natural resources.

“In our daily work, we witness the direct consequences of climate risk and conflict on the lives and livelihoods of communities,” said Mr. Jurg Montani, the Head of the ICRC delegation in Jordan, and stressed that “therefore, we need to identify sustainable humanitarian action that will bolster their resilience and adaptation”.

Mr Montani asserted that “Jordan is an important hub for humanitarian dialogue and policy debates on issues of such regional relevance. The diversity of stakeholders sitting around the table today will contribute to shaping the global policy on the climate and conflict nexus tomorrow”.

The roundtable also discussed how climate finance can increase people’s adaptation and resilience to the double vulnerability caused by conflict and climate change.

Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, the President of the JRCS, reiterated “the need to urge governments to adopt policies to secure enough finance to increase livelihoods, improve infrastructure and disaster risk management and strengthen compliance with international humanitarian law”. On another note, Dr Al Hadid emphasized “the need to raise awareness of the practices that exacerbate the impact of climate change thus contributing to build people’s resilience and reduce their vulnerability to climate change”.

The roundtable held in Amman is the fourth in a global series of seven roundtables on climate change, conflict and resilience to be convened throughout 2019. Three roundtables have already been held so far in Kenya, the Ivory Coast and The Netherlands, and subsequent roundtables will take place in the Philippines, Washington DC with a concluding roundtable to be held in Geneva.

For further information, please contact:

Hala Shamlawi, ICRC Amman, tel: +962 777 398 794


World: Le chef de l’ONU appelle les jeunes à continuer de s’impliquer dans la lutte pour le climat

Source: UN News Service
Country: World

Les générations plus âgées ne « réagissent pas de manière adéquate » à l'urgence climatique, alors que les jeunes « relèvent le défi » et prennent les devants pour ralentir les effets destructeurs du réchauffement planétaire, a déclaré dimanche le chef de l'ONU.

António Guterres s’exprimait en clôture de la Conférence mondiale des ministres responsables de la jeunesse et du Forum de la jeunesse Lisbonne+21, organisés à Lisbonne, au Portugal.

Le Sommet a eu lieu 21 ans après l'adoption de la Déclaration de Lisbonne sur les politiques et programmes pour la jeunesse et a offert aux gouvernements un lieu de discussion sur les progrès réalisés avec les jeunes, ainsi que sur l'introduction de nouvelles approches visant à renforcer l'autonomisation des jeunes dans le domaine politique.

S'appuyant sur un argument qu'il avance depuis quelques mois maintenant face à la menace existentielle posée par le changement climatique, le Secrétaire général de l’ONU a déclaré qu’il n’était pas suffisant d’écouter les jeunes et de leur accorder une place dans les discussions sur la question. « Nous devons nous asseoir à votre table », a-t-il dit à l’adresse des jeunes participants à cette conférence.

Les étudiants comprennent, davantage que les leaders mondiaux

Mentionnant les actions de jeunes leaders comme la Suédoise Greta Thunberg, M. Guterres a déclaré que les étudiants ont mieux compris cette urgence climatique que les leaders mondiaux. « Ils savent que la fenêtre d'opportunité se ferme. Ils sont déterminés à vaincre cette menace ».

Le chef de l'ONU a déclaré que les gouvernements écoutaient et que « les entreprises commençaient à se rendre compte qu'une grande empreinte carbone est mauvaise pour leur image, et même pour leurs bénéfices ».

Ce n’est que le début, a-t-il ajouté, soulignant l’importance de l’énergie et de l’engagement des jeunes.

« Nous devons créer un environnement favorable pour les jeunes, où ils ne sont pas vus comme des sujets à protéger, mais comme des citoyens avec des droits égaux, des voix égales et une influence égale, des membres à part entière de nos sociétés et de puissants agents de changement », a-t-il ajouté.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, l’Envoyée du Secrétaire général chargée de la jeunesse, a déclaré pour sa part que le potentiel des jeunes doit être valorisé.

Elle a souligné que la stratégie des Nations Unies pour la jeunesse à l'horizon 2030, lancée l'année dernière, était un plan global visant à promouvoir les droits des jeunes et à garantir leur implication dans la mise en oeuvre du Programme de développement durable à l'horizon 2030.

Elle a appelé les ministres et les décideurs politiques à travailler avec l'ONU pour offrir aux générations les plus jeunes un avenir meilleur.


Bangladesh: Bangladesh Refugee Emergency Factsheet: Energy and Environment (April 2019)

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar

67,807 households reached with LPG Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and cooking kits providing cheaper, safer,and a more efficient and cleaner source of energy

UNHCR is working to create a better environment by:

  1. Reducing the environmental impac tof hosting refugees through environmental protection efforts, restoration, promoting conservation and awareness among refugees.

  2. Increasing the use of safe and alternative energy sources in both refugee and host communities

  3. Improving protection and wellbeing in refugee settlements through solar street lights installations and other environment-friendly energy initiatives

The arrival of refugees to Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar put a large strain on the local environment. During the initial phase of the emergency, hundreds of thousands of refugees struggled to build emergency shelters with the materials they could find, and used firewood from forest areas for cooking. This led to forest areas being cleared and trees cut extensively. UNHCR has been working with the authorities and other humanitarian agencies in Cox’s Bazar on sustainable and safe solutions for refugees helping to mitigate the impact on the environment.

Progress

Efforts to stop deforestation and restore wildlife habitats are progressing with the ongoing provision of LPG fuel for cooking which reduces the need for refugees to cut and collect forest wood, and helps conserve the environment and wildlife habitats. Inter-agency collaboration is underway for the distribution of LPG and cooking sets to both refugee and host community families as an eco-friendly cooking solution, aiming to cover all refugee families. The switch will improve air quality and reduce the harmful health effects associated with fumes from cooking with wood inside shelters. It also mitigates some of the physical risks posed to children and women as the main collectors of firewood in isolated forest areas. The introduction of LPG is also creating employment for the host community as it requires supporting infrastructure such as refilling stations. UNHCR and partners are simultaneously planting trees to help regenerate vegetation, control soil erosion, and reduce landslide risks. Efforts were made by UNHCR with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also to mitigate human-elephant conflict by having watchtowers and trained teams organised to lead elephants safely away from the camps and protect human life. Solar street lights continue to be installed in the settlements and in nearby Bangladesh host communities for their convenience at night and additional security.


Cambodia: Reducing risk, reaping resilience: Furnishing Cambodia’s farmers with the knowledge to adapt to climate change

Source: UN Development Programme
Country: Cambodia

24 June 2019 - For thousands of years, Cambodian farmers have tilled their lands according to the rhythms of the annual monsoon. Now, as the region faces changing rainfall driven by the onset of global climate change, the Southeast nation is taking action to prepare and adapt.

The mighty Khmer empire

In the 9th Century, a thriving ancient kingdom, the Khmer Empire, spread across parts of what is now modern-day Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. The capital Angkor, which boasted up to one million residents, is thought to have been the world’s largest pre-Industrial city.

Each year, millions of tourists and travel to see its ruins. Yet as visitors marvel at the architecture of the temples, what aerial laser surveys have revealed is even more impressive: a vast urban complex of roads, canals and reservoirs. A prosperous city built on water, linked closely to the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, the Tonlé Sap.

Mysteriously, in the early 15th Century the kingdom was abandoned. Many researchers now believe the collapse was climate-related, brought about by decades-long drought followed by intense flooding. Thus the element that had been central to the kingdom’s rise – water – perhaps became its downfall.

**One thousand years on, water remains vital **

Fast forward more than one thousand years and water remains central to Cambodian life and development.

Each year (usually between May and November), monsoonal rains sweep across the country, bringing almost 80 per cent of the country’s annual precipitation. When they do, the Mekong's tributaries and Tonlé Sap swell with water, lush greenery is restored, the floods carry nutrient-rich silt to nearby farmland.

A shifting climate

With the onset of climate change, Cambodians are seeing changes in their environment. Temperatures are rising; the arrival of the monsoon is becoming less predictable; floods and droughts are increasing in frequency and severity.

The impact on already-vulnerable rural households can be ruinous, destroying or reducing the yield of crops and household income, tipping some into unmanageable debt and poverty.

The implications go beyond families to affect wider communities and the country at large. Extreme weather has implications for national food security and an economy in which agriculture constitutes approximately 23 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Farmers are having to adjust. While in the past, they largely relied on traditional wisdom and experience to read the weather and determine what to plant, when to plant and when to harvest, over the past decade, they have been less able to rely on that knowledge.

Empowering farmers to manage drought

Recognising the need for national climate-resilient planning and for communities, the government of Cambodia has been working with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to expand climate infrastructure and build forecasting capacity for early warning and the agriculture and water management sectors.

Under a project supported by the Least Developed Countries Fund, much has been achieved.

Over the past year, 53 automatic hydrological and meteorological stations have been installedacross vulnerable provinces, with the stations capturing and transmitting real-time data.

A partnership has been forged with SERVIR-Mekong to step-up drought monitoring, analysis and forecasting.

Since last year UNDP has been collaborating with NGO DanChurchAid to establish drought information hubs.

A partnership with NGO People in Need is focused on extending an SMS-based early warning service (EWS1294) across the country and increasing village-level disaster preparedness, through participation in Disaster Management Committees.

Work is underway to better understand and respond to flood management. A partnership with the intergovernmental institution Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) is aimed at enhancing the country’s institutional capacity to produce and act on climate forecasts.

Most recently, the project has joined with DanChurchAid to provide training on drought management, including publishing a manual tailored to the Cambodian context. Trainings on drought-resistant agricultural techniques, drawing on the manual, have been carried out in Takeo and Kampot. From June, training is planned in the provinces of Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang.

The latest trainings are timely – in January the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and Ministry of Health issued warnings related to hot and dry conditions driven by an El Niño cycle. In February, the Prime Minister, Hun Sen, called on farmers to cultivate dry-season rice only once during the dry season due to the drought.

Prepared for the future

Each year, an increasing number of tourists are arriving, keen to experience the ruins of Angkor, the capital Phnom Penh or its southern coastal towns and beaches.

Away from their gaze, the nation continues to work hard to further its economic and human development. Cambodia has made significant development progress: strengthening the economy, reducing poverty, improving maternal and child health, and raising the number of children going to school.

Ready to adapt

Over one thousand years after the decline of Angkor we cannot know for sure what drove its decline. But with early warning and action at the local level, Cambodia will build a climate-resilient sustainable future.

Cambodia stands ready to prepare and adapt.

For more information on the project 'Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems to Support Climate-Resilient Development in Cambodia', please click here.

For Further Details:

Mr. Muhibuddin Usamah, Project Manager, E. muhibuddin.usamah@undp.org


Bangladesh: Population Movement Operation (PMO) Annual Report 2018

Source: Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar

Foreword of the Chairman

It gives me great pleasure in welcoming you all for a successful year of PMO, Cox’s Bazar. Serving distressed people as a motto of RCRC movement. Our historic achievement would not have been possible without the unstinted support and cooperation of all staff, RCY Volunteers, on behalf of the BDRCS and on my own behalf I would like to place on record my deep sense of gratitude to all of you. I also remembered IFRC, ICRC, Participating National Societies (PNS) and ERU as well.

Hafiz Ahmed Mazumdar
Chairman

Opening Remarks of Secretary General

2018 was an amazing and exciting year for PMO’ team. In 2018, we BDRCS has launched the Operation, which focused on forcibly displaced people from Rakhine and the affected local community providing different lifesaving services and materials. In addition, we have tried to lead this huge population a dignified life with the support of IFRC, PNSs and some other donors and local Govt wings. Furthermore, we became able to secure funding for 2018 to continue our existing responses for 2019.

Md. Feroz Salah Uddin
Secretary General

Speech of Head of Operation, PMO

It gave me great pleasure to provide the foreword to the PMO Annual Report 2018 I have witnessed the maturity and expansion of the PMO firsthand. I am now pleased to have the opportunity to lead this dynamic and humanitarian operation for reducing suffering of the huge population forcibly displaced from Myanmar.

I also thanks to IFRC, PNSS for extending help designing this movement and all working Govt. forms as well. In 2018 BDRCS continued to play a vital role supporting the homeless, helpless people by delivering effective and efficient primary health care services, housing and Cash & NFI services for both communities’ people.

I expect PMO will be a unique humanitarian response through community-based participation, upholding accountability and transparency in its programming.

Syed Ali Nasim Khaliluzzaman
Head of Operation, PMO, Cox’s Bazar.


World: Tackling Climate Emergency Hinges on Younger Generation’s Creativity, Drive, Secretary-General Tells Lisboa+21 Youth Forum

Source: UN Secretary-General
Country: World

SG/SM/19641
23 JUNE 2019

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ closing remarks at the World Conference for Ministers Responsible for Youth and the Youth Forum Lisboa+21, in Lisbon today:

It is, in fact, true, as you have seen in the film, that 21 years ago, in 1998, here in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to address the very first World Conference for Ministers Responsible for Youth here in Lisbon. And I confess I do not know what is the most difficult, to be Prime Minister of Portugal or Secretary-General of the United Nations.

But, it is with great pleasure that I return to this city, which is my city, and to this forum where I see some familiar faces, but, most of all, so many new ones. In these 21 years, we have all come a long way.

In 1998, the Internet was in its infancy. Words like “drone”, and “selfie” were not in everyday use. The existential threat posed by climate change was not well understood. Nearly twice as many people were living in extreme poverty and twice as many girls were not attending primary school. We had 2 billion fewer people on our planet, meaning that, today, we have the largest young generation in history.

But, across the world, this new generation faces enormous challenges. One fifth of young people are not in employment, education or training; one quarter are affected by violence or conflict; millions of girls become mothers while they are still children. Online bullying and harassment are adding to high levels of stress; tragically, some 67,000 adolescents die from suicide or self-harm every year.

Without action on the climate emergency, on inequality and intolerance, this generation could face devastating consequences. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris climate agreement, agreed four years ago by all Member States, offer a way to address the serious global challenges we face.

This September, the eyes of the world will be on New York and on these agreements again, as we kick‑start more urgent and ambitious global action for implementation. We have just 11 years left to achieve the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] and avert the worst impacts of climate change. And in both areas, we are running behind. In both areas, we are not doing enough, and we are not doing what we should be doing together.

It is clear that without the impatience, the drive, the creativity and the innovation of today’s young people, we will not succeed. I hope some of you will be in New York in September, to make sure leaders deliver on their promises.

My generation has so far failed to respond properly to the challenge of the climate emergency. And schoolchildren have grasped its urgency better than global leaders. They know that the window of opportunity is closing; they are determined to beat this threat and they are making a big difference already. Governments are starting to listen. Companies are starting to realize that a big carbon footprint is bad for their image and even their profits.

I believe this is just the start. From climate action to plastic pollution, from the clean energy revolution to gender equality, the young generation is stepping up to the challenge. And my generation is beginning to understand that young people can and must lead. The task for those of us in power, therefore, is not to solve the problems of young people, but to build frameworks so that they can contribute to solving their own problems. Young people must be able to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

We need to create an enabling environment for young people, where they are seen not as subjects to be protected, but as citizens with equal rights, equal voices and equal influence, as full members of our societies, and powerful agents for change. The World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, focuses on the entire spectrum of issues relevant to youth development and participation and can help guide this work.

It’s not enough to listen to young people and provide a seat at the table. We need to take a seat at your table. Young people must be given greater scope to help formulate and implement holistic policies and programmes that have their needs and their rights front and centre, that capture their diversity and the different challenges they face. Policies on gender are particularly important since we cannot build strong, just and resilient communities and resilient societies without the full participation and leadership of half of their members.

I can see this paradigm shift happening slowly across the globe. Next year, 2020, marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations. Global cooperation needs rejuvenation to better tackle the threats to your future. I want to hear from you how you would like to see us improve. In 2020, we want to stimulate conversations across the world to learn how you want the world to look when the United Nations is 100 in 2045 and how you see us improving to better deliver on that vision. Please participate. Your voices as global citizens, as owners of the future are critical for our discussion during the seventy-fifth anniversary.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I want to thank young people for your leadership. As I told the inspiring Greta Thunberg a few days ago in Vienna, I am with you every step of the way. The United Nations will stand with young people when you oppose injustice. We will work with you to prevent conflict and to build peace. And we will support you in accessing education, decent work, social protection and your sexual and reproductive health.

Our new partnership with young people is set out in our strategy, Youth 2030, launched last year with the aim of making the United Nations a leader in working with young people, understanding their needs, helping to put their ideas into action, and ensuring their views are heard. The United Nations was born in a very different age. It is based on hierarchies and is sometimes uncomfortable with disruption.

It’s time for a change. We want to work with you on access to education and health, on training and jobs, on human rights and on your involvement both in your local communities and in the global community. My Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake, is leading our efforts on Youth 2030. I encourage you to engage with her and our entire United Nations system to make sure we do much better at working with and for young people.

As this event closes, I salute you for your hard work and wish you all the best in implementing the decisions included in the Declaration. I encourage you to continue to think big and to push boundaries. I ask that you join us in doing all you can to make this September a turning point for the SDGs and the global climate emergency. I count on your continued leadership and support.

Thank you.


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