The 2020 negotiation agenda on climate change, biodiversity and the global oceans is full. The world should have focused on solving the fate of the planet in crisis, but the pandemic of the COVID-19 virus has forced major changes in the agenda. . This also coincides with the phrase “plans cannot keep up with change”.
The wave of postponements and cancellations of UN conferences is affecting preparations for high-level policy forums on sustainable development around the world, including the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK, the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and the outcome Post-2020 global biodiversity and chemicals and waste management frameworks and more. In some areas, this work is shifting to alternative forms of virtual web conferences, such as the fifth session of the United Nations Administrative and Budgetary Committee.
According to real-time statistics released by Johns Hopkins University in the United States, the pandemic of COVID-19 virus pneumonia (COVID-19) has reached more than 380,000 confirmed cases worldwide as of 11:00 AM on March 24, Beijing time. There have been more than 16,000 deaths. In the process, many important meetings to meet new environmental commitments have been canceled or postponed, and more meetings are uncertain.
It is also reported that a draft prepared for the process of the biodiversity summit at the level of Heads of State and Government held during the 75th United Nations General Assembly has been released recently. In view of the pandemic, the draft is from March 19 to 23 The consultations were held in a “silent” or online manner. The Permanent Representatives of Costa Rica and Italy to the United Nations responsible for the preparations, after a meeting with the President of the General Assembly, decided that no further face-to-face consultations would be held to avoid putting representatives in unnecessary danger. The Biodiversity Summit will be held on the first day of the 75th session of the General Assembly’s general debate, from 3 pm to 6 pm at the UN headquarters in New York. The theme of the summit is “Emergency Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.
The Green Society International Department has been informed that the second United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Transport, which was originally hosted by the United Nations and undertaken by our government, was scheduled to be held in Beijing from May 5 to 7, 2020, and has been postponed. The new session will be determined separately by the Organizing Committee and the United Nations. The Global Genome Biodiversity Alliance (GGBN) 2020 Conference and the 4th GGBN Conference, to be held in Shenzhen from May 11th to 15th, and hosted by the Shenzhen National Gene Bank (CNGB), have been postponed to March 8, 2021. Held in Shenzhen from November 11th.
The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has cancelled or postponed all meetings in March and April at its headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and around the world. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said in a statement that the COVID-19 epidemic would be monitored and the upcoming events would be judged accordingly.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Many summits have been postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, and our task has become more difficult. But as we work to contain the epidemic, we must seize every opportunity to formulate climate action Agenda. ”
On March 17, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced that several conferences related to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be postponed or changed to a network format before the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity in Kunming in October. The UN Ocean Congress, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in June, has also been threatened. The conference aims to promote more ambitious marine ecological goals within the framework of the CBD. The IUCN 2020 World Conservation Conference, scheduled to be held in Marseille in June, is still pending due to the increasingly severe epidemic situation in France.
International colleagues in the Green Society believe that the intensification of the COVID-19 epidemic may cause most meetings to be postponed from the near future to the end of the year, but informal negotiations during the meeting are the key to the success of the meeting. “It’s not enough to replace it with a virtual web conference, because most substantive negotiations take place in informal settings other than formal meetings.”
The UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s statement regarding the postponement or cancellation of multiple meetings is under update.

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