GLOBE International’s annual legislators’ summit takes place in Paris, France, in December 2015. As has become custom, the annual GLOBE summit coincides with the meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year’s COP is the 21st since the establishment of the UNFCCC at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. COP21 is a highly-anticipated event seen as the landmark climate conference since Kyoto in 1997. It is expected to result in a legally-binding international framework agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions and setting the world on to a more sustainable, low-carbon growth pathway for decades to come.

COP21 also comes against the background of an historic year for international sustainable development. 2015 has seen a succession of agenda-setting UN summits on disaster risk reduction (Sendai, March); finance for development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September) and climate change (Paris, December). 2015 also marks the 20-year review of the UN’s landmark 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), also known as Beijing+20, highlighting the expectation that gender will be mainstreamed throughout these summits and their outcomes.

The implications of the 2015 summits, as well as Beijing+20, is of particular relevance for legislators. GLOBE International has accordingly adopted a unique approach calling for ‘Coherence and Convergence’ between the 2015 summits and Beijing+20. This is to ensure that outcomes are mutually-reinforcing and delivered in a coherent whole-of-government manner from 2016 onwards, when political and legislative focus will turn to implementation of summit commitments at the national level.

This initiative is being developed in close cooperation with our strategic partner, UNEP, and is the central focus of this year’s GLOBE Summit.

The theme of integration between the 2015 UN summits is joined this year with a strong economic development dimension, assessing the implications of COP21 and the 2030 agenda for low-carbon development pathways. This year we also feature a special segment on the role of adjudication through the courts. The latter opens up for the first time a unique dialogue between legislators and the judiciary on how to secure effective implementation of the outcome of COP21, and the 2015 summits, in 2016 and beyond.

The GLOBE COP21 Summit is primarily intended for legislators, but leading members of the judiciary, policymakers, intergovernmental organisations, multilateral organisations, scientific community, academial, businesss, civil society and media are also being invited.

In a departure from traditional practice, the GLOBE Summit is also being opened this year to other parliamentary networks including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, AWEPA, Women in Parliament, Climate Parliament and others.

This is in recognition of the momentous nature of the Paris climate summit, the 2015 summits, and the need for a strong and coherent response from the world’s parliamentarians on the implementation agenda in 2016 and beyond.