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WECF in Bonn for the UNFCCC negotiations

Going forward in shaping the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, while taking the gender perspective into account

25.05.2017 |

“This meeting will enable governments to push further on the rules for making the Paris Agreement fully operational”, said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa for the launch of the intersession, which was held from 8 to 18 May in Bonn. Laurence Tubiana, ex-French ambassador for climate change, added: “This dialogue is essential to prepare for COP23”.

With this in mind WECF attended the intersession, together with other civil society organisations members of the Women and Gender Constituency, to make women’s voices heard in the negotiations. 

Gender Action Plan (GAP)

The two weeks of negotiations were particularly important to make progress on the elaboration of the Gender Action Plan (GAP), which is to be adopted during COP23. The GAP aims at fostering the integration of gender in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, as stated in the decision made during COP22. Numerous parties and representatives of the civil society, divided into 5 working groups, participated in the 2-day workshop organised from 10 to 11 May. The workshop enabled the elaboration of fruitful and well-structured proposals, which objectives are quantifiable and measurable over time. The Secretariat published the collection of those proposals in an informal summary report  of the workshop. Among the suggestions, the target of 50% representation of women in all Party delegations and constituted bodies under the UNFCCC by 2019, the work towards an IPCC special report on gender and climate change, and the development of a guidance to enable Parties to develop their own gender and social inclusion action plans by the end of 2018.

Indigenous peoples' rights

Two days of the second week of the negotiations were dedicated to the opening of a dialogue on the operationalization of the local communities and indigenous peoples platform. The modalities of the platform were discussed on 16 and 17 May. The aim of the platform is to enable exchange of ancestral knowledge and know-how held by local communities and indigenous peoples, in order to develop mitigation and adaptation techniques to climate change. Parties and observers (including representatives of indigenous peoples) discussed the operationalization of the platform, as well as Indigenous peoples’ rights (especially the right of free, prior and informed consent) and the necessity for representatives of indigenous peoples to participate actively in the decision-making processes.

Women and Gender Constituency (WGC)

Finally, the intersession questioned once again the role of non-state stakeholders in the negotiations, through a workshop organised by the Secretariat and the Chair of the SBI, on 9 May. Kalyani Raj, representative of the Women and Gender Constituency, claimed in her intervention for defendants of common good and women’s rights, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities, farmers and workers, to be heard more than defendants of private interests.

An action called “Polluters Out, People In”, was organised in the conference centre, and aimed at questioning conflicts of interests resulting from a significant representation of the fossil fuel industry in the negotiations. Despite a censorship of this action from the Secretariat, it was widely shared in newspapers and social networks. 

The draft conclusions  proposed by the Chair of the SBI express a will of better integrating “observers” through improved consideration of civil society organisations’ submissions, or by opening discussions to observers more frequently.

Nevertheless, discussions on this sensitive topic will only take up again in May 2018. We will be there!




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