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UN-lock the Deadlock

December 16, 2009

An indignant crowd with yellow passes gathered outside Bella Centre, demanding access. Non-governmental organisation (NGO) pass-holders have entirely been denied entry, in what Avaaz campaigner Ricken Patel considers an attempt to “push global civil society out of the talks”. This drastic action came several hours after the UN Security Staff and UNFCCC Secretariat decided to deactivate all Avaaz organisation accreditations last night, due to individuals under Avaaz taking part in unauthorised demonstrations over the past week and a half.

This is a far cry from what was declared to be an ‘open and transparent’ process, with civil society participation. When asked about the barring of NGOs, a member of security who declined to be named, said “security incidences have left us with no choice”.

Shangrila Wynn from Nepal calls the negotiations and the invitation to civil society a “sham”, as it is “turning out to be a close door (one) – (UNFCCC) shouldn’t have agreed to accreditation from the start. I’m mad that they allowed me to come here in first place… creating the illusion that it’s a participatory process where our voices can be heard”.

The UNFCCC welcomes civil society participation, as indicated on their website (, and has a write-up on Guidelines for the participation of representatives of non-governmental organisations at meetings of the bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

NGO participation is recognised by the UNFCCC as allowing for “vital experience, expertise, information and perspectives from civil society to be brought into the process to generate new insights and approaches. Furthermore, the access and participation of observers to the process promotes transparency in this increasingly complex universal problem. Such participation flourishes in an atmosphere of mutual trust which acknowledges respect for others and their opinions, and takes into account the nature of intergovernmental sessions.”

Members of NGOs are expected to abide by the guidelines, and inconsistent behaviour would lead to expulsion of the relevant NGOs.

Yet, many feel that having everyone pay the price for the actions of an individual or a group of individuals, is unfair.

On a side note, isn’t this the Annex 1 and 2 dichotomy played out? Is this what the UNFCCC Secretariat really wants?

Live from COP15
ECO Singapore

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mellow permalink*
    December 16, 2009 10:04 pm

    i like the title!!! 🙂

  2. December 16, 2009 10:08 pm

    I like it too. Very punny. haha


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