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SDG 13: the focal theme of the 26th UN/INTOSAI Symposium

Following a long-standing tradition, the 26th UN/INTOSAI Symposium, which is jointly held by the General Secretariat of INTOSAI and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) every three years, took place from 16 to 18 April 2024. After a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was organized again as an in-person event at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, where more than 200 representatives from 82 Supreme Audit Institutions and international partner organizations came together to discuss the topic "Implementation of SDG 13 on climate action: role, contribution and experience of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs)".

In the framework of panel discussions on the sub-themes

  • SAI practices in auditing the impact of climate change
  • Enabling conditions for auditing climate action
  • Strengthening climate action – impacts of climate change audits

speakers from SAIs and the United Nations presented, among others, the various legal frameworks for climate action, assessments of national action plans and climate strategies, data analyses, evaluation mechanisms, financial and budgetary aspects and key factors for implementing and auditing the SDGs – such as a multi-stakeholder approach and whole-of-government approach to ensure coherent policies.

The symposium also placed a special focus on the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to climate change. As their audits and lessons learned are of particular importance, a separate panel was dedicated to this topic with presentations from the SAIs of Jamaica, the Maldives, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia.

The presentations were concluded with a keynote speech by Åsa Persson, Research Director and Deputy Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, who highlighted measures to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences from a scientific perspective.

On the last day of the symposium, the participants adopted the final document of the event – the “Conclusions and Recommendations” – which contain the key messages of the symposium. These are intended to provide important guidelines for future SDG-related audits and actions and cooperation of SAIs in this context.

For more information, please contact the INTOSAI General Secretariat.

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