LDCs prepare for critical climate negotiations with the support of UNDP and Norway

21 April 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group Strategy Meeting 2017 was held from 19-21 April 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme Regional Office, and supported by the Government of Norway.
More than fifty participants attended the meeting, held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Opening addresses were given by H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister/State Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Gerd Trogemann, Director a.i., UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa, and the Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Andreas Gaarder. 
The meeting was held at a critical time for defining future concrete actions, support, and implementation of the Paris Agreement (PA), and the roadmap for a united response to climate change. In the making of the PA, the LDC negotiating group played a significant role in making sure that interests of the poorest and most vulnerable countries were heard. 
LDC Group chair, Gebru Jember, welcomed all participants. Minister Dr. Gemedo Dalle encouraged the LDC group to continue to influence the agenda in international climate negotiations. Ambassador Gaarder stressed the significance of the Ethiopian leadership in making the LDC group a proactive and constructive actor in climate change negotiations. 
Gerd Trogemann said,"UNDP aims to help LDCs globally, so that their voices collectively have greater impact on international negotiations, and also at country-level, so they can tackle the institutional and technical barriers, which hinder the efficient follow-up to the decisions and agreements made by the Parties to the UNFCCC. UNDP stands ready support you in the process. We look to you to help ensure that our efforts serve your needs and priorities in global negotiations so that agreements yield benefits for LDCs. " 
LDC delegates reflected on progress since the PA, the COP 22 outcomes, and the current political landscape. The strategy meeting also provided a significant opportunity for the LDCs to consider the preparation of the Paris Rulebook, and prepare for the UNFCCC meetings in Bonn in May 2017, which in turn, are crucial to effective outcomes at COP 23. 
This meeting was held with financial contribution from the Government of Norway, and builds on the ongoing support by UNDP to the LDC Group through the UNDP Regional Programme for Africa and the joint UNDP-UN Environment programme, “Building Capacity for LDCs to participate effectively in intergovernmental climate change processes” (LDC Negotiators) financed by the GEF Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and implemented in collaboration with UNITAR, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Climate Analytics.