10/11/17

COP23 Presidency Hosts First-Ever Open Dialogue Between Government Parties and Non-State Actors

For the first time in the history of the UN climate talks, governments and non-state actors engaged in an ‘Open Dialogue’ at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

Discussions were held surrounding two important topics. The first was how non-state actors can help countries design and implement more ambitious climate goals – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – and the second was how to better integrate non-state actors into the climate negotiations process. Based on the success of the dialogue, there was strong enthusiasm to continue similar discussions at future COP meetings.

The event brought together governments and non-state actors representing a diverse mix of stakeholders, including environmental organisations, business and private sector, trade unions and workers, youth, women, indigenous peoples, local governments and research institutions.

The Open Dialogue was launched on 8 November by the COP23 President, Frank Bainimarama and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa and was chaired by the COP23 Climate Ambassador, Deo Saran.

Giving opening remarks, the COP23 President said, “We understand that the formal negotiations are governed by the idea of a party driven process. But we also understand that the rich variety of non-state actors represented in this room have a great deal to contribute to that process. In fact, without the non-state actors, we will fall short of the objectives set by the Parties.”

“I’m delighted as COP23 President that we have been able to connect in this manner. Because it goes to the heart of the Grand Coalition concept that Fiji has been promoting all year.”

The dialogue encouraged the sharing of stories and ideas in the true spirit of Talanoa. The meeting included examples of success when the NDC process is supported by non-state actors. The participants also agreed that non-state actors can in particular make significant contributions by helping to address issues that transcend national boundaries.

The participants expressed strong support for the Open Dialogue at future climate talks and thanked the Fijian Presidency for championing the first Open Dialogue.

The Fijian Presidency has been actively engaging with non-state actors throughout the year under the Global Climate Action Agenda and the work of the Fiji High Level Climate Champion.