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UNGA Second Committee Adopts Draft Resolutions on the Protection of Climate and Corals

24 November 2010: The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted draft resolutions on the protection of climate and of coral reefs.

The draft text titled “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/C.2/65/L.51), was introduced by Hungary, Committee Vice-Chair, and approved by consensus. In the draft resolution, the UNGA encourages member States to the UNFCCC to approach the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun "with optimism and determination, with a view to achieving a substantive, balanced and ambitious outcome." The UNGA further: urges parties to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to continue making use of the information contained in the fourth assessment report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and recognizes the urgent need to provide financial and technical resources, capacity building and technology transfer to help developing countries cope with the impacts of climate change.

A text titled “Protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development” was introduced by Australia (document A/C.2/65/L.28/Rev.1), and was also adopted without a vote. In the draft, the UNGA would urge States to take all necessary steps to protect coral reefs while taking immediate and concerted global, regional and local action to respond to the challenges of climate change and ocean acidification. It would also urge them to adopt and implement comprehensive and integrated approaches for managing and enhancing coral reefs and related ecosystems. Fiji, speaking on behalf of Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), welcomed the draft resolution, underlining that climate change and ocean acidification were the greatest threats to coral reefs, and affected most of the Group's members. [UN Press Release]