Opening Remarks by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the CVF Ambassadorial Level Virtual Meeting Tuesday on 18 May 2021

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear Colleagues – Good afternoon and a warm welcome to the first CVF Ambassadorial level meeting in New York.  Thank you for joining us today.

I have the honour to chair today’s meeting as the representative of the current CVF President. I am very pleased to be joined today by my fellow troika members, Ambassador Amatlain Kabua, PR of Marshall Island and Ambassador Taye Amde, PR of Ethiopia.

We are very pleased to have with us today Mr. Selwin Hart, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Climate Action & Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team.  He will provide an update on the priorities that the SG has set out for climate on the road to COP-26, which he has defined as the “make-or-break” year.

We are also honored to have among us Mr. Archie Young, the UK’s Lead Climate Negotiator since 2016. He will update us about the UK’s priorities for COP26 and explain how we propose to use the months ahead to make progress on these goals. 

We are also happy to welcome Ambassador Javier Díaz Carmona, Senior Fellow, Global Center on Adaptation. He will brief us about the work of the CVF Secretariat and the priorities of the CVF Presidency in the lead up to the COP-26 and beyond.

And last but not the least, we have Babita Bishit, Deputy Director, Division of External Affairs, Green Climate Fund. She will share with us GCF’s efforts to align its work with the special needs of the climate vulnerable countries.

Excellencies, Colleagues,

 We are hosting this meeting today with a specific objective to discuss how the CVF Members in New York can contribute to achieve the priorities set by the group for the COP-26 and beyond. We wish to explore ways to further enhance the coordination among the delegations of the CVF member states in New York.  Additionally, we wish to discuss the possible ways and means to further leverage the strength of the CVF to promote its core interests in the upcoming GA and ECOSOC events including HLPF, UNGA high level week etc.

Today’s meeting comes at a time when we are just six months away from the COP-26. And we have just concluded two important high-level meetings—the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April and the Petersburg Climate Dialogue in May.

Speaking at the leaders’ dialogue, my Prime Minister highlighted the dire consequences facing the Climate Vulnerable Countries due to the double jeopardy of COVID-19 pandemic and climate induced disasters.

Bangladesh presidency’s current priority is to promote international solidarity to support the most vulnerable countries. The CVF countries are the least contributors to global greenhouse gases. Yet they are the worst victims of the climate change. The support from the international community to tackle this enormous challenge has never been enough. They need to depend heavily on their own resources and locally led adaptation measures. For example, every year Bangladesh is spending about 5 billion dollars – an average 2.5 per cent of its GDP – on climate adaptation and resilience-building.

We believe that COP-26 should focus more on actions and results, especially to address these pressing issues. The success of COP 26 will largely depend on its ability to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the most vulnerable countries. Priority should be given to, inter alia:

  1. financing and technology transfer;
  2. adaptation and resilience building;
  • ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs);
  1. addressing outstanding issues of Article 6 and loss & damage;
  2. support national efforts for COVID-19 recovery.

Excellencies, Colleagues,

As the current CVF President, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken some important initiatives towards that end. In October 2020, she declared that the 31st of December 2020 would be the cut-off date for our “Midnight Survival Deadline” to reduce carbon emissions to the lowest level.  She urged Governments to submit highly ambitious NDCs to meet that deadline.

In March 2021, she launched the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, a transformative climate concept, which aims to leverage international and private sector support for domestic climate actions.  Ambassador Carmona will provide further details on this and other plans of the Presidency.

Just to highlight the most important one, there will be a CVF High-Level Meeting on the sidelines of the Glasgow COP. This is expected to culminate in the Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration. This communiqué is expected to capture the aspirations and concerns of CVF leaders and ministers at COP26.

 Before, we start with the speakers and panel of experts, a few words on housekeeping. The briefers will have roughly five minutes to make their presentations. There will be an interactive session at the end of the briefing. If you wish to take the floor during the interactive session, you may kindly let us know by using the chat function. Please keep the microphone muted unless you are given floor. And you are most welcome to turn your cameras on while speaking.

Without further ado, I have the pleasure now to invite Ambassador Kabua to deliver her remarks.