7 ways UN DESA supports a rescue plan for people and planet


November 2023 

The latest UN DESA Annual Highlights Report showcases seven ways UN DESA supported Member States to advance the 2030 Agenda throughout the 77th Session of the General Assembly, despite a challenging global context and significant setbacks to SDG progress. Here’s what you need to know about UN DESA’s efforts.

1. Accelerating action for the SDGs at the national and international level

UN DESA helped to organize the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2023 and the SDG Summit in September. This year also saw major progress in mobilizing SDG localization through Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), which total more than 200 since its launch in 2018.

2. Reducing poverty and inequality

To give meaning to “leaving no one behind”, UN DESA supported key UN processes in a fully inclusive manner, to amplify the voices of older persons, youth, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities. It also provided capacity-building support for vulnerable groups, including small-scale farmers and women entrepreneurs, as key agents of SDG transformation. It also called for the principle of “inclusion by design” to tackle the digital divide.

3. Ensuring sustainable financing

To overcome the ‘great finance divide’, UN DESA called for scaling up SDG financing and investment to countries most in need or those under heavy debt distress, including through promotion of the SDG Stimulus and reforms to the international financial architecture.

4. Making data count

UN DESA continued to support countries to collect official data to “make the invisible visible” and develop new measures that “value what counts” for people, planet and the future. For example, the number of indicators included in the global SDG database has increased steadily from 115 in 2016 to 225 in 2023.

5. Strengthening national institutions and accountability

UN DESA supported progress towards the achievement of SDG 16 as a key enabler for the 2030 Agenda. Throughout the year, the Department provided knowledge-sharing and capacity-building support and tools to Governments and institutions to effectively deliver on the SDGs in an effective, inclusive and accountable manner.

6. Ending the war on nature

UN DESA continued to stand up to the triple planetary crisis by supporting a synergistic implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and forging stakeholder commitments, pledges and partnerships.

7. Framing the future of development

UN DESA continued to enhance its strategic foresight and address socioeconomic challenges not only to meet the SDGs, but also future-proof sustainable development beyond 2030. The Department provided analytical advice and capacity-building opportunities, offering policy options for countries to enhance their resilience to future shocks and crises, especially for the most vulnerable.

Read more about these achievements in the UN DESA Annual Highlights Report available here.


Threat of a walkout mars COP27

November 20, 2022

via the Inquirer Mobile App:



SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt—Some European delegates threatened to walk away as countries struggled to reach agreement at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt on Saturday.

With the talks already in overtime, officials from the 27-country European Union said they were worried about a lack of progress overnight and even the possibility of backsliding from parts of the COP26 climate deal agreed in Glasgow, Scotland, last year.

“All (EU) ministers … are prepared to walk away if we do not have a result that does justice to what the world is waiting for—namely that we do something about this climate crisis,” EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.

“We’d rather have no decision than a bad decision.”

The UN climate agency later published the latest draft proposal that would kick many of the most controversial decisions on the fund into next year, when a “transitional committee” would make recommendations for countries to then adopt at the COP28 climate summit in November 2023.

The draft posits that the summit would agree to “establish a fund for responding to loss and damage.”

The recommendations would cover “identifying and expanding sources of funding”—referring to the vexed question of which countries should pay into the new fund.

‘Rise to the occasion’

The Egyptian COP27 president urged parties to “rise to the occasion” and unite around a final deal, while defending the version so-far drafted.

“The text does keep the 1.5 alive,” said Sameh Shoukry, who is Egypt’s foreign minister.

Negotiators said they had not seen a fresh draft of an overall deal since Friday morning, although they had reviewed separate draft compromises for deals on the stickiest issues.

That draft had reaffirmed past commitments to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but did not meet demands by some, including the European Union and Britain, to lock in country commitments for more ambitious efforts to curb climate-warming emissions.

Dutch climate minister Rob Jetten said many countries were unhappy at lack of progress on commitments to cut emissions to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius—the threshold at which scientists say the effects of climate change will get much worse.

“It’s simply not good enough,” Jetten told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit. “We’re still waiting for some texts, but it feels like we’re backtracking on Glasgow and that will be unacceptable.”

Friday’s draft for an overall deal also did not take on a suggestion by India that has been backed by the EU and Britain to ask countries to phase down all fossil fuel use, instead of just coal.

Support unclear

The fractious issue of so-called loss and damage payments to countries already being hit by climate impacts had negotiators scrambling Saturday to hash out a deal for a fund to help countries being ravaged by climate-driven floods, droughts, megastorms and wildfires.

In what the European Union hoped would be a breakthrough on the issue, it agreed Thursday to back the demand of the G77 group of 134 developing countries to set up a special fund.

But while some climate-vulnerable countries such as the Maldives expressed support, it was unclear whether the world’s two biggest economies and polluters—China and the United States—would sign on.

The EU’s offer came with the stipulation that the funding come from a broad base of countries including China, and that only “the most vulnerable countries” benefit from the aid.

Complicating matters, US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry—a powerful force in climate diplomacy—tested positive for COVID-19 after days of bilateral in-person meetings with counterparts from China and the EU to Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.

A deal at COP27 must be made with support from all of the nearly 200 countries present. —REUTERS

Asia Pacific Basin Strategies’ Board of Trustees elects Charter Founder Antonio A. Ver to Chairmanship 

Asia Pacific Basin Strategies’ Board of Trustees elects Charter Founder Antonio A. Ver to Chairmanship to succeed Jorge V. Sarmiento who was Chairman from 2018-2022. Ver was President from 2010-2018. He was succeeded by Angelo A. Jimenez in 2018 who was President until 2022. Redbert Maines succeeded Jimenez as President in June 2022. Sarmiento, Jimenez and Joselito John Blando are Advisers. (August 20, 2022).

Philippine Gas and LNG Investment Summit

Asia Pacific Basin for Energy Strategies (APBest) hosts a major energy event at The Tent at Solaire, Solaire Resort, Pasay City on September 27, 2022. This is APBest’s continuing commitment to promote power and energy. Advisor Atty. Joselito John Blando will deliver the opening keynote, and President Mr. Redbert Chris Maines will be the closing speaker.


Plans for the “Sen. Heherson Alvarez Climate Leadership Award”

July 15, 2022. Quezon City.

The new Board of Trustees, Officers & Working groups led by Atty. Red Maines met to lay down the plans for the “Sen. Heherson Alvarez Climate Leadership Award” that include raising an Endowment to sustain the Award and critical thinking on Climate Leadership. Atty. Maines took over former UP Regent Angelo A. Jimenez. The next meeting is on August 20 during which time the initial fund of at least Php10 million would be in place to promote and foster the Award as a nationally-acclaimed Award, progressing to a Php100M Endowment to bring the Award and its Mission to global recognition possibly during COP 27 in November in Egypt.

The meeting was presided by Founder Antonio A. Ver who will be the next Chairman to succeed Atty. Jorge V. Sarmiento who will continue as Advisor to guide the Board in its breakthrough plans. Atty. Joselito John Blando was prevailed upon to have another term as Advisor.

In attendance, left to right, are Rj Suarez, Nizer C. Rosales, Antonio A. Ver, Anthony John Santos, Henryking Sicad, Anton Rodriguez, Ervin Frederick Dy, Red Maines, Luis Macabbabad, Mark Balmaceda and Miguel Policarpio.