Amongst all the delegation from parties of the United Nations, you would see a small number of people with yellow badges working to push the urgency of the discussion as much as they can. They are the (almost) silent people of the United Nations, the civil society organization representatives. As far as inclusive goes, there is still much work to be done in including the CSOs into the discussion.
YOUNGO Intervention Drafting
On 6th of November (the first day of COP), I was spending more than half of the morning drafting the YOUNGO intervention for the APA Plenary session. Fortunately, I was able to include what was discussed in our YOUNGO Adaptation Working Group into the speech. The speech included an emphasis on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), formally known as education and training, which as discussed in the Working Group meeting, was an important element of adaptation. We see it that ACE, as a capacity building mechanism, ensures that the future generation knows more about climate change and how to take action on them- which acts as an effective adaptation strategy.
I also included the emphasis on youth involvement in the upcoming Talanoa Dialogue. I think it is necessary for the Talanoa Dialogue, with the vision of being more inclusive in its process, to include not only youths but also the other United Nations constituency in its process. Considering the transparency mechanism that will be discussed in this conference, I also highlighted its importance in ensuring that data collected will be able to be used for the future generation of climate decisions.
The APA Opening Plenary
I entered the room around 10, and observed the delivery of the statements from the blocs. I sat in the last row at the right-hand corner, dedicated to civil service organizations. It was at a location very distant from the rest of the parties, and I felt that very little attention was given for the civil service organizations because the location of the seats is very close to the door, therefore the representatives of the civil service organizations are susceptible to the disturbance of the people coming in and out.
During this opening plenary, a contact group session was inserted in between and thus creating a huge window of waiting time for the civil society representative to voice out. In the end, the intervention opportunity for the civil service organization only started close to 1 pm even though the plenary opened at 10 am. Also, because the time was already very close to lunch break, many of the parties were leaving the room as civil service organizations deliver their speech, reducing the impact of the intervention (well, the interventions were meant for the parties but many of them weren’t there). However, there was still something amazing about the civil society representatives. Of all the seven representatives for the APA Opening Plenary, six of them were women (yay! Girl power!)
Being able to draft and deliver an intervention at the APA Opening Plenary was fun exciting. I hope that more emphasis will be taken into consideration in terms of the flow of the sessions to be more inclusive of civil service organizations. After all, we want our voice to be heard, not displayed.
Written by Xiandi
Edited by Varun