Author Archives: Aaron Wiener
After a tumultuous day of negotiations, leaders in Copenhagen reached a climate deal late Friday. The agreement falls short of many negotiators’ expectations and hopes, but it salvages the conference and lays the foundation for a binding treaty somewhere down the line.
The international climate talks in Copenhagen went on life support this morning when representatives of developing nations staged a temporary boycott of the conference, but leaders worked quickly to resuscitate the negotiations.
The dispute once again centered on dissatisfaction among developing countries with the way the world’s major economies were handling the negotiating process — particularly the threat that they might scrap the Kyoto Protocol, which imposes carbon emissions limits on wealthy nations while exempting poorer ones.
The prospects for a unified front between developed and developing nations in combating climate change further broke down today, as more than half of the world’s countries — mostly smaller nations, including those most threatened by the effects of global warming — pledged not to sign any accord that allows global temperatures to rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. (Abhishek‘s got more on that)
The delegates have descended on Copenhagen. The curtain has been raised. And as UN climate chief Yvo de Boer told the representatives of 192 countries at the opening festivities of the 12-day international climate conference, “The clock has ticked down to zero. After two years of negotiation, the time has come to deliver.”
Middle East: During the last 48 hours of the continued ceasefire, humanitarian workers have delivered food to hundreds of thousands of people, repaired water and sanitation infrastructure, re-stocked medical supplies, and some of the 520,000 displaced Palestinians have returned to their homes. However, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator remarked the scale of needs remains “unprecedented in the Gaza Strip.”
Middle East: At today’s informal session of the General Assembly on Gaza the SG remarked that the most recent ceasefire has held since yesterday at 8 a.m. local time. He noted that a durable ceasefire is necessary and UN shelters must continue to remain safe zones. The SG thanked UN staff in Gaza and will fly the UN flag at half-mast tomorrow in memory of those who died in the conflict.
Middle East: The SG commended Israeli and Palestinian parties for committing to a 72-hour ceasefire that took place at 8 a.m. local time today. He urges all parties to abide by the ceasefire and commence peace talks in Cairo to address underlying issues and agree on a durable ceasefire to sustainably stop the violence. The UN lends its full support toward these efforts.
Middle East: The SG condemned yesterday’s shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah that killed at least 10 Palestinian civilians. The SG stated that the attack violated international humanitarian law and UN shelters must continue to be safe zones and not combat zones.
SG: Last night the SG spoke at a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica where he repeated his call for an unconditional and extendable humanitarian ceasefire. Speaking about yesterday’s shelling of a UN shelter he said: “Nothing – nothing – justifies such horror” and demanded “that all parties immediately respect UN premises”.
SG: The SG met with President Ortega yesterday in Nicaragua where he visited a wind farm and praised the country’s commitment to renewable energy. The SG arrived in Costa Rica today where he is expected to lecture about “Costa Rica and the United Nations: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century”.