75 years ago, the UN was born. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN looks back at several important achievements, but much work on persisting challenges still lies ahead. Increased UN engagement in three areas can make the region more resilient to future challenges.
The "UN75 Regional Dialogue for the Americas: Toward Innovation and Renewal of Global and Regional Governance" (20 March–26 April 2020) was designed to bring diverse, multi-stakeholder, regional perspectives and actionable ideas into the final months of preparations for key global policy milestones of 2020, including the UN 75 Leaders Summit and its associated political declaration, as well as the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture.
The Online Regional Dialogue for the Americas serves as a platform to open the conservation around key issues and questions on the future of multilateralism and its impact at the global, regional and national levels in the Americas.
[Postponed to 2021, dates tbd] Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Climate Week 2020 will bring together representatives from the public and private sectors to exchange ideas and identify synergies in discussions, meetings and exhibitions on a diverse set of themes related to climate action and sustainable development.
If ratified, the Mercosur-EU trade deal may reinforce the parties’ commitment to climate action. Yet, its potential relevance is weakened by a language that often stops short of concrete commitments, as well as political resistance.
A new form of organized crime has recently been emerging in the Amazon: illegal mining. Miners fell trees, use high-grade explosives for blasting soils and dredge riverbeds. But the impacts go beyond environmental damage, bringing with it a slew of other social problems. Peace researcher Adriana Abdenur urges policymakers to improve coordination and argues that diplomacy may help prevent further conflicts, corruption and crime.
A new USAID report focuses on the intersection of climate exposure and state fragility worldwide. It finds that the factors that make a country vulberable to large-scale conflict are similar to those that make it vulnerable to climate change. The report thus offers a way for global audiences with an interest in climate and security to identify places of high concern.
Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries made history at the UN General Assembly on September 27 by signing the Escazú Agreement, a regional accord on public participation and access to information and justice in environmental affairs. It is the first region-wide agreement of its kind and has been touted a big step forward in recognising the rights of environmental defenders. Signatories now need to ratify the Agreement internally before it can enter into force.
The “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) exhibition visualizes the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental change. It demonstrates how climate change can threaten the security of the American continent, and showcases how climate, environment and sustainable development cooperation can contribute to stability and peace.
Diplomacy has an important role to play in creating an economy compatible with the target of staying below 2°C warming, agreed in Paris in 2015. At the climate conference in Marrakech (COP22) from 7 to 18 November 2016, dubbed the “implementation conference”, many new initiatives strengthened the impression that low-carbon transformation had gone mainstream.
REDD+, a global framework designed to reward governments for preserving forests, has pledged nearly $10 billion to developing countries. But minorities, indigenous people, the poor, and other marginalized groups that live in forest areas often end up paying more than their fair share of the costs of environmental cleanup and conservation while getting less in return. What can be done to change this?
The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to some of the most challenging aspects of climate change – sea-level rise affecting coastal cities, changes in precipitation impacting agriculture, glacial melting threatening water reserves. Population trends – like migration and urbanization – can exacerbate these challenges or, in some cases, serve as methods of adaptation.