COP28 witnesses high participation of international organisations, especially of women, youth, Indigenous People
Published: Dec 13, 2023 02:49 PM
COP28, the United Nations Conference of the Parties being held in Dubai, has witnessed huge participation of international organisations, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Apart from world nations and media, various international organisations also have their voice at COP. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) call them 'observer organisations.'

Observer organisations are further categorised into three types: the United Nations System and its Specialised Agencies, intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The NGOs represent a broad spectrum of interests, and include representatives from business and industry, environmental groups, farming and agriculture, Indigenous populations, local governments and municipal authorities, research and academic institutes, labour unions, women and gender and youth groups.

In the UNFCCC process, admitted NGOs have formed themselves into loose groups with diverse but broadly clustered interests or perspectives, called constituencies. The nine constituencies are: Business and industry NGOs (BINGO), Environmental NGOs (ENGO), Farmers, Indigenous people's organisations (IPO), Local government and municipal authorities (LGMA), Research and independent NGOs (RINGO), Trade union NGOs (TUNGO), Women and Gender, and Youth NGOs (YOUNGO).

COP28 has given ample opportunities for all these groups to have their voices heard. Among them, the participation of organisations of women, youth and Indigenous People was noteworthy at COP28.

Women's issues

A global conference on gender and environment data was convened on 28th and 29th November at the Expo City Dubai, ahead of COP28. The speakers and participants included UN Agencies, government officials and policymakers, leaders and commitment makers of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition and the Gender Environment Data Alliance (GEDA), private foundations, civil society organisations, Indigenous leaders and local communities and academia.

They all had further opportunity to raise their voice on Gender Equality Day celebrated on 4th December, in a series of events.

Voice of the youth

On Day 8, which was celebrated as Youth Day, youngsters representing youth organisations from across the globe shared their dreams about a sustainable world.

Youth Day at COP28 amplified the voices of young people to ensure their demands are heard and call for increased investment in education to equip children and youth with the skills and tools to tackle the climate crisis.

YOUNGO, UNFCCC's youth constituency, empowers youth to have a voice in international climate policies.

A series of youth-led side events, workshops and interactive sessions geared specifically towards youth was held during COP28.

Two young people won the UN Global Climate Action Awards at a ceremony that day.

Michelle Zárate Palomec of Mexico and Sebastian Mwaura of Kenya were selected from hundreds of applicants from 120 countries for their outstanding efforts to make their communities more sustainable, resilient, and equitable places to live.

Indigenous people

On December 5th, COP28 celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day, highlighting their role key role in finding climate solutions.

A roundtable with Indigenous youth and youth from local communities presented recommendations on the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples in climate policies and action.

"Indigenous Peoples are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. They are well placed to lead just transitions based on their time-honoured values, knowledge, and worldviews," said Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary.