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ECOSOC Considers Development Policy Recommendations, Holds SIDS Panel

23 July 2010: The 2010 Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened for its 43rd session in New York, US, from 28 June-23 July 2010. On 21 July, ECOSOC considered recommendations from its subsidiary bodies, including the Committee for Development Policy, which addressed policy coherence on the climate change agenda in relation to its financial architecture and to other development agendas.

The representative of the Committee for Development Policy explained that the report of its 12th session (document E/2010/33) found, inter alia, that the level of funding for mitigation and adaptation of climate-resilient development paths was "vastly insufficient." He said the report argued that the financial architecture for climate change should be governed by the UNFCCC, and recommended that action be prioritized with regard to funding allocation. He also underscored inadequate levels of external support to least developed countries (LDCs).

On 20 July, a panel discussion titled "Opportunities for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)" took place. The Council's discussions of sustainable development aimed to provide an opportunity to explore potential opportunities for SIDS with a view towards building resilience as they confront climate change and the fall-out of the economic and financial crisis. In particular, participants addressed the following opportunities related to: the agricultural sector, for example, the emergence of new crops; the energy sector, for example, tapping new energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal energy; and the services sector, for example new types of tourism packages, as well as finance. On agriculture, participants focused on the opportunities in research and development related to the emergence of new crops due to the changes to the ecosystem, including those caused by climate change. They also explored initiatives in developing extreme weather-resistant crops and livestock.

On energy, participants discussed opportunities for developing technology to reduce harmful emissions as well as to improve energy efficiency and energy security.The panel discussions will feed into the two-day high-level review to assess progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of SIDS through the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, which is organized by the UN General Assembly, on 24-25 September 2010. [ECOSOC Press Release] [SIDS Panel Discussion Website]