B.25/02: Opening of the meeting

The Board, having considered the risks relating to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus as well as the prevailing uncertainty and current extraordinary circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 virus outbreak:

  1. Recognizes its duty to act in the best interests of the GCF and its duty of care towards staff, consultants and interns of the GCF;
  2. Takes note of the measures which have been put in place by the Executive Director to protect the health and welfare of GCF staff, consultants and interns, including the option for staff, consultants and interns to work remotely under special flexible working arrangements;
  3. Decides to ban all GCF-related events organized by the Secretariat effective Monday, 16 March 2020 for a period of 30 calendar days;
  4. Also decides that the independent units shall take the same measures with respect to recall of their respective staff, consultants and interns; official travel; and organization of events, as well as other measures relating to the response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak as those taken by the Secretariat, and in the event that the head of the relevant independent unit wishes to deviate from the measures put in place by the Secretariat, such deviation shall require the approval of the Board;
  5. Authorizes the Executive Director to explore options for hosting a core group of up to 35 Secretariat staff in partner organizations in the event that alternative working arrangements need to be put in place in response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, without establishing a second formal country presence of the GCF, on the basis of the following criteria:
    1. The willingness or expression of interest of prospective partner organizations to host a core group of GCF personnel on a temporary basis in its network of offices;
    2. The existence of a bilateral agreement on privileges and immunities between the relevant countries in which the partner organization may offer office space to the GCF, or the ability of such prospective country to provide privileges and immunities to the GCF as are necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes and to the officials of the GCF as are necessary for the independent exercise of their official functions in connection with the GCF, on a temporary basis;
    3. The availability of adequate local facilities necessary to support the operations of the GCF and the core group of staff, including in relation to financial services; housing options; local and international transport facilities, taking into consideration any existing travel restrictions; and state-of-the-art teleconference and videoconference facilities;
    4. The willingness of the prospective partner organization(s) or countries to consider shared financial and administrative arrangements;
    5. The prevalence and ability of the relevant countries to respond promptly and effectively to the COVID-19 virus; and
    6. The diplomatic representations and the presence of other international organizations in the relevant countries;
  6. Also authorizes the Executive Director to activate the alternative working arrangements referred to in paragraph (e) above, in the event it becomes necessary, to mitigate the impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus on the achievement of the Secretariat’s key performance indicators, it being understood that while the alternative working arrangements may need to be put in place until the twenty-seventh meeting of the Board, such arrangements will only be used on an “as needed” basis and activated for the minimum amount of time necessary;
  7. Approves a contingency budget in an amount equal to 2 per cent of the administrative budget of the Secretariat to cover costs relating to the activation of alternative working arrangements until the originally scheduled dates for the twenty-seventh meeting of the Board;
  8. Requests the Executive Director to consult with the Budget Committee on how such contingency budget should be allocated to specific line items;
  9. Decides that although reallocation between line items in the contingency budget is permitted, no reallocation from the contingency budget to the administrative budgets of the Secretariat and the independent units is permitted;
  10. Requests the Executive Director to ensure that there is a standing delegation of authority to a competent official who can implement or activate the measures referred to in paragraphs (e) and (f) above in a prompt manner in the event that the Executive Director is unavailable to take a decision on such matters and an urgent decision is required;
  11. Also requests the Executive Director and the Co-Chairs to hold regular discussions, as appropriate, in relation to any measures implemented pursuant to this decision;
  12. Confirms that if the Executive Director, or his delegee, proposes measures which fall outside of the authorities provided in this decision, such measures may not be implemented without the approval of the Board;
  13. Reaffirms that the Headquarters of the GCF remain in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea, in accordance with decision 6/CP.18 of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and in accordance with the Agreement between the Republic of Korea and the Green Climate Fund concerning the Headquarters of the Green Climate Fund; and
  14. Decides to review the implementation of this decision on the originally scheduled dates for the twenty-seventh meeting of the Board (22 to 24 October 2020).