On November 15, 2022, the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Amb. Khusrav Noziri on the sidelines of the high-level segment of the 27th Session of Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh had a meeting with Ms. Inger Andersen Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
In the course of this meeting, the possible ways for strengthening relations between two organizations were discussed. The ECO Secretary General after referring to the environmental challenges and opportunities in the region highlighted the environment and impacts of climate change as a cross-sectoral priority of ECO and mentioned that the ECO Vision 2025 underscored sustainability as one of its core principles.
He also pointed out the existing MOU between ECO and UNEP and expressed readiness for updating the document to reflect global and regional developments during last decade. Mr. Noziri underscored the need to capacity building and different types of assistance from the international community and UNEP for strengthening climate action in the region. He emphasized importance of UNEP in extending enhanced assistance to ECO region.
Ms. Anderson in response, while appreciating for high interest in environmental cooperation highlighted the significance of the ECO and the region in addressing more than half a billion population. She expressed preparedness of the UNEP regional office in Asia and the Pacific, and the other office in Almaty for further engaging with the ECO Secretariat to discuss possible areas for strengthening cooperation. Ms. Anderson stressed importance of meaningful regional interaction and necessity to explore more details of what can be done beyond the existing bilateral cooperation that UNEP already has with the countries in the region.
The UNEP Executive Director, while hoping the ECO to participate in the next meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly invited the Secretary General to have the next bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP 28, to be held in Dubai in 2023, in order to review and assess progress in the bilateral cooperation in the course of the coming year.