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Civil Society and Climate Action: Secretary-General's Imperative for Global Collaboration

By: Ahmed Fathi

UNHQ: At a recent Press encounter with the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres at the UN Headquarters, ahead of COP28, I had a chance to address the Secretary-General, with a question emphasizing the role of civil society in climate action and inquired about the Secretary-General's plans to engage with civil society, particularly in light of recent reports about the UAE engaging in negotiations with 15 nations to supply them with fossil fuel, oil and LNG.

Secretary-General's Response: The Secretary-General responded by acknowledging the paramount importance of climate as a defining issue of our times and connecting climate advocacy with passion for humanity. The Secretary-General mentioned having already met with key civil society leaders in preparation for COP and expressed the intention to engage intensively with civil society during the conference in Dubai.

Analysis: The question underscored the crucial role of civil society in addressing climate challenges, emphasizing the need for collaboration and activism beyond governmental efforts. The Secretary-General's acknowledgment of climate as a defining issue and the intention to engage with civil society aligns with the broader narrative of global collaboration and urgency in tackling climate change. The Secretary-General's commitment to meeting with civil society during COP28 demonstrates a recognition of the collective responsibility in climate action and aligns with the theme of inclusivity in addressing global challenges.

This exchange reflects the interconnected nature of climate issues, involving not only state actors but also civil society as crucial stakeholders. The Secretary-General's emphasis on engagement with civil society signals an understanding of the diverse and influential role that non-state actors play in shaping climate policies and outcomes. Overall, the response aligns with the Secretary-General's broader message about the urgency of climate action and the need for a collective, inclusive effort to address environmental challenges on a global scale.


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