Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire - On the invitation of UNCCD COP15 President Alain Richard Donwahi, the members of the COP15 Bureau held their second meeting on 1 March 2023 in Abidjan. This meeting was an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved since the first COP15 Bureau meeting in Bonn in October 2022 and identify the next steps in the lead up to UNCCD COP16 in 2024.
In his opening remarks, COP15 President Donwahi congratulated stakeholders who are working to realize the commitments made at COP15 and pledged his support.
“My focus this year will be on supporting the UNCCD Executive Secretary in the implementation of many regional initiatives that aim at fighting drought and land degradation such as the Great Green Wall Initiative, the Middle East Green Initiative and the International Drought Resilience Alliance, but also major projects within the five regional annexes, he said.
UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw stressed that much progress has been made since the COP: “Our beating of the 'drought and land restoration' drums seem to be bearing fruit. Let's continue to work towards a sustainable future for all,” he said.
Executive Secretary Thiaw also gave an update on the activities of the Secretariat and of the intersessional working groups, which are working to respond to the mandate given by UNCCD Parties at COP15. Already, 115 Parties have submitted their national reports, which will be considered at CRIC21 session, scheduled to take place in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) in October 2023.
COP15 Bureau members expressed their satisfaction with the progress made and readiness to continue the fight to mitigate the effects of land degradation and drought together.