UN takes over completed venue for COP13

Updated: 2017-09-05 Print

The Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center was formally handed over to the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) on Sunday, three days before the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is to get underway.

Officials attending the handover ceremony included Woo Sung Yang from the UNDSS, Zhang Zhongtian, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Network for Forest Management under the State Forestry Administration and Liang Xiaoping, deputy head of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region's Public Security Department.

Through renovations that lasted for a whole year, the Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center was structurally upgraded and modified as required by the United Nations. And now it is prepared logistically to support the upcoming COP13, with a security system and facilities for running water, electricity and gas all set in place.

The COP, established by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification as the supreme decision-making body for that issue, will hold its thirteenth session in Ordos, China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, from Sept 6-17. It is the first time the Chinese government has hosted a UN meeting of this kind.

This year, the meeting focuses on the theme of “Combating Desertification for Human Well-being”. Around 1,400 people, including some heads of state and delegates from 196 parties, international organizations and non-governmental organizations will be present.

At COP 13, the Parties will decide on the New Strategic Framework to guide action under the Convention from 2018-2030, while setting out plans to achieve the goal of "zero growth in global land deterioration by the year 2030".

The Parties of COP 13 are also expected to release the Ordos Declaration and a Youth Initiative on Global Desertification Control.

As regards the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, those suffering serious desertification will be invited to launch a cooperation mechanism under the framework of the Belt and Road Joint Action Initiative for Combating Desertification in a bid to share information and control.

The Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center has three sections which will be used to hold different levels of meetings and exhibit achievements in combating desertification. The center can be reused after COP 13, as eco-friendly and recyclable materials were employed when it was modified and renovated.