ABU DHABI, 1st August, 2023 (WAM) -- The COP28 Presidency and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have officially signed the Host Country Agreement, strengthening their joint commitment to inclusivity and transparency at COP28 that fosters solidarity and transformative progress across the climate agenda.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, during a meeting in Abu Dhabi.
The Host Country Agreement puts in place the necessary legal basis for this year's UN climate summit.
Following the signing of the agreement, a joint statement was issued underscoring the importance of inclusivity, transparency, and respect, as part of the COP process that enables unity and more ambitious action.
Dr. Al Jaber emphasised that inclusion is a crucial cornerstone of the COP28 Presidency, saying, "The COP28 plan of action is centered on four key pillars: fast-tracking the energy transition; fixing climate finance; focusing on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpinning everything with full inclusivity. The COP28 Presidency believes inclusivity is a critical enabler to achieving transformative progress across the climate agenda. Only by rising above our differences and working together can we raise our shared ambition and deliver progress to keep 1.5C within reach."
Stiell reaffirmed the UNFCCC's dedication to upholding UN values at COPs and ensuring the voices of those most impacted by climate change are heard and represented in leadership roles, saying, "As custodians of the process, the secretariat is dedicated to supporting the Parties implement their climate commitments, including under the Paris Agreement. To drive climate action and ambition forward, we are firmly committed to ensuring that UN values are upheld at COPs. We are also making every effort on our part to ensure that this will be a COP process where the voices of youth, women, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and those most impacted by climate change will be heard and reflected within the process."
In line with UNFCCC guidelines and adherence to international human rights norms and principles, there will be space available for climate activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard.
"We will work together to make COP28 the most inclusive UN Climate Change Conference to date. To this effect, we have written to all Parties urging increased participation and meaningful engagement of youth, women, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples as members of Party and observer delegations to COP, and in climate decision-making, policy, and action in the lead up to and during COP28 by providing appropriate quality and modalities of participation," the statement read.
Full inclusivity of the COP process is one of the four areas that COP28 will focus on, the other three being fast-tracking the energy transition, fixing climate finance, and focusing on lives and livelihoods.