Multilateralism: Chile’s contribution
DIPLOMATIC POUCH - Jose Miguel Capdevila (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2019 - 12:00am

Chile will be hosting two major summits by the end of this year: APEC 2019 and COP 25 on Climate Change, which highlights the importance my country attaches to multilateralism as a driver in  enhancing  commitments to build a more equitable and sustainable planet. In times when global governance and the crafting of a world order based on rules is being confronted by several opposing views inspired on specific short term interests, these two meetings appear timely on the horizon as fundamental instances for political dialogue and consensus-building, thus providing sound, comprehensive, and collective responses to meet these challenges.

Since its inception back in 1989 APEC has been focusing its work and attention on trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. It has 21 member-countries which are known as “the economies” and together they represent 40 percent of the world’s population, 60 percent of the global GDP, and 50 percent of total trade. APEC is the only inter-governmental organization that functions on the basis of non-binding commitments and  open dialogue.  Chile is hosting APEC for the second time and has put forward an agenda based on four topics with the theme, “Connecting People, Building the Future.” Hence, Digital Society, Integration 4.0, Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth, and Sustainable Growth are being discussed among the representatives of 21 economies throughout this year, paving the way for the Leaders´ Summit in November. A major long term goal is the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

The realization of the COP-25 in Santiago comes at a time when the international community is witnessing the encumbrance and speed of devastation to the environment caused by global warming. Time is running out as massive ice sheets in Antarctica are melting much faster than expected, with dire consequences to the Antarctic ecosystems, thereby leading to the rise in sea and ocean levels across the world. As reported by the World Resources Institute (WRI), eight out of ten largest cities are near the coasts, and 40 to 50 percent of the world’s population live in areas vulnerable to rising seas. Climate change is also responsible for the dramatic increase in natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, and droughts which are now having a devastating impact worldwide, particularly in the economies of developing countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which represents the world’s leading climate scientists, recently warned that global warming is reaching dangerous peaks with irreversible effects to the planet’s ecosystems if decisive action is not taken promptly.  

Multilateral concerted efforts against global warming are essentially based on and drawn from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement or COP 21. Last year during the COP 24 in Katowice-Poland, countries agreed on a major issue linked to the set of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, thereby establishing standards aimed at ensuring governments compliance on their emission-cutting efforts. COP 25 is set to provide a new impulse to the climate change agenda by consolidating the agreements reached so far and moving into a more concrete action driven approach  . As the host country, Chile will also provide a conceptual framework and inputs to discuss the relationship between oceans and climate change, Antarctica’s role as moderator of global warming, forests and hydric resources among others.

Chile and the Philippines are members of  APEC and have been working together, hand in hand, for years to strengthen this relevant fora of the Asia-Pacific region. Both countries are also parts to the Paris Agreement and share its principles and objectives for  the protection and preservation of the global environment. My country  appreciates  the  valuable contribution of the Philippines to the success of APEC 2019 and COP 25 and looks forward to welcome in Santiago  its representatives and  delegations.

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(Jose Miguel Capdevila is the Ambassador of Chile.)

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