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Issue-based Coalitions in the Asia-Pacific Region


1. IBC Raising Ambitions on Climate Action (co-chaired by ESCAP and UNEP)

The IBC Raising Ambitions on Climate Action seeks to streamline and align the UN response to challenges of climate change and air pollution in the region, help realize synergies among related areas of work across UN entities, bring the value-added of the regional UNDS to assist Resident Coordinators and UN Country teams, and serve as regional platforms to reach out to non-UN stakeholders. 

The IBC is structured around the following specific objectives:

  • Raise ambitions on climate action through Nationally Determined Contributions. 

  • Accelerate action on air pollution in Asia Pacific to move towards achieving World Health Organization air quality guidelines by 2030.

  • Accelerate the phase out of coal in Asia Pacific.  

  • Making the COVID-19 related fiscal measures climate responsive

UN agencies contribute to the IBC through engagement in Working Groups established for each of the first three objectives, while all entities contribute to mainstreaming COVID-19-related issues in climate response.


2. Building Resilience (co-chaired by UNDP and UNDRR)

The IBC on Building Resilience brings together disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation with membership of 19 UN entities. 

The overall objective of this IBC is to serve as a platform for UN agencies to work together to accelerate action on DRR, CCA and resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. The work of the IBC will advance inclusivity and human rights-based approaches to climate-sensitive, risk-informed development. The following are specific objectives of the IBC: 

  • Build political momentum for the acceleration of strategic and policy action in Member States to implement the DRR, CCA and resilience dimensions of the 2030 Agenda, Sendai Framework and Paris Agreement.

  • Provide UNRCs and UNCTs with coherent and timely programming, policy and/or normative guidance and technical support on DRR/CCA and resilience-related issues.

  • Strengthen regional, country and local-level data and information on DRR and CCA to enhance resilience-building policies, programming and decision-making.

  • Support advocacy and information/experience sharing on DRR and CCA-related issues, based on agreed recommendations and action points, with a focus on leave no-one behind principle.

The IBC is structured under 4 work streams co-lead by different UN regional entities: 1) integration of health emergencies in DRR, 2) disaster and climate risk analysis, 3) resilient recovery and 4) disaster and climate-related displacement.


3. IBC Inclusive Economic and COVID-19 Recovery (co-chaired by UNICEF and UNDP)

The IBCs will help realize synergies among different Regional UN entities to bring the value-added of the regional UNDS to Resident Coordinators and UN Country teams in the operationalization of the Framework for “Empowering people for a more inclusive and equal Asia and the Pacific” (ESCAP, February 2019)3. 

In addition to its immediate threat to the lives of millions of people, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will challenge the fulfilment of human rights, human development as well as green and low carbon transitions thereby further exacerbating pre-existing and emerging inequalities that worsen the socio-economic conditions of the most vulnerable populations and new poor across the Asia-Pacific Region. The UNDS Regional Collaborative Platform requested that this IBC should help support the operationalization of the “A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19”. In doing so the IBC will: 

  • Data and Analytics Support UNCTs in data collection and analysis of different patterns of economic growth and recovery from the COVID- pandemic, with special attention to document and articulate the conditions and inequalities experienced by marginal groups and new segment of the population falling into poverty.  

  • Scaling up inclusive policies Based on the evidence and analytics, support the UNCTs to advocate for scaling up inclusive social and economic policy options within the broader recovery and development planning, noting the centrality of social protection, health and employment among other redistributive policies that address the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 on the most vulnerable populations.  

  • Knowledge management and advocacy Support knowledge generation, analytical work and advocacy on inclusive social and economic recovery and policy options, and in coordination with the Knowledge Management Hub.  

  • Inclusive recovery Support UNCTs in developing joint messages and promoting inclusive macroeconomic response with focus on equitable fiscal and public finance policies and interventions to leverage investments in social and economic sectors and empower the most vulnerable against the social-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Based on consultation with agencies at regional and country level, the IBC will identify priority area of intervention per year, and organized around the following key areas of work: 

  • Social Protection, including shock responsive social protection 

  • Macroeconomic Sustainability and Recovery, and Public Finance 

  • Poverty, Inequality and Social and Economic impact of COVID 19 


4. IBC Promoting Human Rights, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (co-chaired by OHCHR, UNFPA and UN Women)

The IBC HR-GEWE leverages substantive expertise from across the UN system on key GEWE and HR issues. It’s work focuses on three areas:

  • Non-discrimination: support UNCTs in integrating a normative approach to the UN’s development work, including in SDG monitoring and implementation, grounded in the UN Charter and international human rights frameworks; 

  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment: advocate for women’s leadership, voice and agency to be advanced in all areas of the UN’s work (regional and country); 

  • COVID-19 response and recovery: monitor and analyse HR and GEWE-related implications of the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in the region, and support the integration of HR and GEWE in all work to build back better. 

The IBC’s work in delivered through capacity-building support to UNCTs, research, analysis and provision of technical guidance, as well as dialogues, guidance and joint advocacy on emerging challenges or issues of regional interest. The IBC has two sub-working groups i.e. the regional Human Rights Network and the regional UNiTE Working Group to End Violence Against Women and Girls.