COP23 Presidency Consults with Civil Society to Accelerate Global Climate Action

In the midst of a full week of climate meetings in New York during the United Nations General Assembly, the incoming Fijian COP23 Presidency conducted a consultation with a broad range of stakeholders to accelerate global climate action. Representatives of NGOs, business, youth groups, indigenous peoples’ and women’s groups, and many other organizations joined this meeting to express their views on outcomes for COP23, the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Bonn from the 7th to the 18th of November 2017.

The Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama opened the meeting by expressing his solidarity with the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria that have recently struck the Southern United States and the Caribbean. As the first small island development state to be presiding over the international climate negotiations, he assured the audience that Fiji is bringing the greatest sense of urgency to the climate talks.

Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, the Chief Negotiator for the COP23 Presidency, told the participants that it is important to reaffirm our global commitment to climate action at this very important time in the history of international climate negotiations.

“Fiji’s goal is to make COP23 a visionary COP and infuse it with the Pacific ‘Talanoa Process’ that will build trust, good will and ensure results for the collective good of all nations,” she said.

“Non-State Actor (NSA) participation is crucial to the Facilitative Dialogue and we want this involvement in an organised way to ensure that the input from NSAs is able to be analysed and summarised in a way where everyone feels they can contribute to the process,” the Ambassador added.

The various civil society groups embraced the Fijian Presidency’s vision for COP23 and expressed support for the Presidency.

The various non-state actors also provided valuable input on areas that the Fijian Presidency aims to advance at COP23, including health, education, ingenious rights, gender and oceans.

The Facilitative Dialogue is a key element in helping implement the historical Paris agreement that is now ratified by the majority of the countries in the world in order to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level.