Focus on Climate Change Diplomacy

Ban Ki-moon at COP1817 December 2012, Geneva, Switzerland - Last week delegates and negotiators from all over the world returned home after some intensive days in Doha. On the agenda was one of the greatest challenges of 21st century – Climate change.

Climate change is without doubt one of the largest challenges the world is facing today. It was therefore a high priority of member states to send delegations to the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change is to achieve: stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. (FCCC/INFORMAL/84, GE.05-62220 (E) 200705)

Given the many different stakeholders and communities who have roles to play, it is equally a contemporary challenge to reach consensus in these negotiations. Competing interests, political tensions, and challenges such as the economic recession and competing development priorities, mean that negotiation deadlocks are rife and ways to overcome them are becoming more and more demanding to find. It creates a high demand of interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and languages, and the personal capacities needed to combine these to make diplomatic sense and success.

UNITAR’s activities in the field of multilateral diplomacy focus on developing knowledge and skills to enable diplomats to perform effectively in the multilateral environment. UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme (MDP) offers through e-Learning courses training for negotiators worldwide.

In the coming year UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme, puts focus on negotiation Climate Change. An online course on Climate Change Diplomacy developed in collaboration with UK Consultancy Ricardo-AEA and the CDKN Advocacy Fund, is to be found on the list of e-Learning courses for 2013 (PDF).

Taking part in this online course participants will develop their understanding of the climate change policy framework and the history of the policy making process and the UNFCCC framework. The course will also consider the pertinent challenges currently facing diplomats and international decision makers in making progress with what is currently on the negotiating table.

The course will run twice next year with start in February and September.
For more information please visit Climate Change Diplomacy webpage.

Climate change negotiators from the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries are eligible to apply for a fee-waiver, thanks to the CDKN Advocacy Fund.