On Monday, everyone of us in the Maritim heard the Head of the US delegation deliver a really strong statement on the importance of civil society participation in these negotiations. With a few strong words, he reminded parties why NGOs have to be kept in this process.
Firstly, civil society representatives are actually more than just observers of the talks. By helping the most vulnerable countries and the smaller delegations, our participation contributes to make these talks fairer and more balanced, between rich and poor, developed and developing, tiny and huge delegations. This role played by civil society ensures more equity.
Secondly, civil society (if it is useful to remind you of this) represents the citizens. Wherever they come from, whatever they think about climate change, civil society organisations represent the diversity of citizens from around the world.
However, since Tuesday this crucial role of NGOs seems to have been forgotten by the parties. Since you delegates decided to draft the texts, civil society and NGOs have been kicked out of the room. Of course, we do understand that this process of negotiations needs some calm and secrecy to work, but we also have some concerns about the total lack of transparency in these negotiations.
Furthermore, by closing these doors you also send such a negative message to the 6 billion humans whose lives depend on the decisions you are taking behind these doors. Soon, hopefully really soon, humankind will have to implement what you are thinking and writing herein. Then how will we change this world that needs to be changed if nobody has understood you. By opening the doors, you not only let the eyes and the ears of billions of people coming in to understand you, you mainly let us prepare with you a safer future.
Delegates, it is not too late to make civil society inclusiveness and transparency two really core principles of the UNFCCC negotiations. Even if civil society looks at you, even if we sometimes criticize you, and even if we sometimes disagree with you, we are all here to make our common future safer and to preserve this world for the next generations.
Delegates, let’s open the doors!
About the authorFlorent Baarsch
Writing on adaptation to climate change. Sometimes blogger @lemondefr following #UNFCCC #climate negotiations.