Working as an observer is not an easy task at COP21. Following the technical negotiations is already very difficult, imagine reading a text in a language that you have barely heard before. Now imagine how could you read that text if you were blind. So this is how we feel: blind! It is a major challenge to follow and participate in the negotiations. It is very difficult to understand what is happening, and thus our reactions, the way how we structure our arguments and our actions are completely coopted.
The negotiations are hiding behind closed doors, and the reasons could not be more obvious. They do not want civil society, all of us, to watch what they are deciding. And guess why? Why would they hide from someone? They are afraid that we realise that they are not acting for the interest of the broad society, they are acting for the interest of a few privileged ones. And this just sounds logic to me, one fact is the consequence of the other. Closed negotiations mean vested interest decision-making.
Let’s have a closer look, let’s ask ourselves who is backing the decision of negotiating behind closed doors. Here at COP21, and probably anywhere else in the world, it is known that the least developed and most vulnerable countries have been repeatedly asking the facilitators of the process to open the rooms to observers. But the facilitators, better known as co-chairs, have successfully turned down every single demand.
The co-chairs have not been responsible, at least uniquely, of this decision as they are supposed to remain neutral. A group of different countries have been opposing a transparent process since last October. Let’s play a guess. Who do you think is backing the co-chairs in this decision? You were right if you were thinking of USA, EU, Japan, Russia, and Australia, to name a few.
And it is morally wrong, it is simply evil to talk in the name of “Freedom, Democracy and Justice” when at the same time you are leaving the Paris agreement on hands of a privileged minority. It is just wrong to let this agreement represent a few elite when leaving all of us behind. We all have to understand that to take a global agreement it takes all of us. We will not tolerate that they close up COP21 and sell Paris as a “global” agreement, because it is obviously not!
Adding to the hypocrisy, all these countries were the ones demanding a transparent process during the COP21 opening session. “Openness is essential. We need a common system of transparency.” said Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Switzerland was talking about “building trust and creating momentum” and to top it up, Barack Obama said: “Here in Paris, let’s agree to a strong system of transparency that gives each of us the confidence that all of us are meeting our commitments.”
The crude reality is that the Paris agreement would look completely different if the negotiations were open to observers. Society in general and the Climate Deal in particular, are shaped by four major powers: political power, social power, economic power and media power. What defines who we are as a community is the balance between these different powers. And here again, it comes obvious that by closing the doors they are practically suppressing any participation of the media and social powers, they are rigging the game.
Behind closed doors they think they are safe, they do not want us to listen from those defending the global interests and so they do not let us see what they do. But we are still here, we will keep on pushing, and we will make the common interest win this game. During COP21 and even more after these negotiations we will keep demanding that our rights are respected.
#KeepUsintheRoom #COP4Rights #Article2o2 #HumanRights