civil society ostracized in Sharm El-Sheikh, according to NGOs

civil society ostracized in Sharm El-Sheikh, according to NGOs

International human rights organizations and Egyptian activists addressed, Tuesday, November 8, a taboo subject of the official podiums of the world climate conference (COP27), which is held from November 6 to 18 in Sharm El-Sheikhin Egypt: the ostracism of civil society. “Without the pressure of civil society, there would be no Paris agreement [qui avait débouché sur l’engagement à limiter le réchauffement à 2 °C, et si possible à 1,5 °C] »added Jennifer Morgan, special envoy on the climate of Germany, a country whose pavilion, at COP27, hosted a round table in the official “blue” zone.

Away from this site is the “green zone”, reserved for civil society: to demonstrate there, you must submit a detailed request thirty-six hours in advance. Only a handful of vegan activists ventured to gather at the entrance to the “blue zone”, during an anecdotal demonstration on Tuesday.

Despite the “large-scale human rights crisis” in Egypt, “we were against the idea of ​​a campaign denouncing the selection of Egypt as host country, and against calls for a boycott of COP27detailed Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a major local NGO. Host countries do not necessarily have to be chosen on the basis [de leur politique] human rights. On the other hand, these criteria must be strictly respected in the organization of an international conference”. A veiled criticism addressed to the UN body responsible for organizing the COP, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Agnès Callamard, head of Amnesty International, drives the point home: “The concessions made to the Egyptian authorities by the UNFCCC, for example on the conditions laid down for demonstrations, are outrageous. It’s a way of becoming an accomplice in the gagging of activists”she says to World.

“More access to the field”

Speakers denounced the difficulty of conducting research on environmental issues in Egypt. ” Ten years ago [dans la foulée de la révolution égyptienne]we were able to follow the mobilization of inhabitants under the blow of an expropriation for the benefit of the construction of the first Egyptian nuclear power plant in Dabaa [dans le Nord]. They had managed to obtain compensation from the government by forming a popular committee. Today, such a federation is impossible.judged Mr. Bahgat. “In general, we no longer have access to the land [à cause de la surveillance]. We work from our offices, while the environment is outside”, he added. The “community involvement” is crucial in the search for solutions, said Tirana Hassan, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch.

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