Egypt must ensure the security and full participation of all sectors of civil society at the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November, human rights experts said of the UN*, after a wave of government restrictions on participation.
fears of reprisals against activists.
This new wave follows years of persistent and sustained repression against civil society and human rights defenders using security as a pretext to undermine the legitimate rights of civil society to participate in public affairs in Egypt.
“Arrests and detentions, freezing and dissolution of NGO assets, and travel restrictions against human rights defenders have created a climate of fear for Egyptian civil society organizations to visibly participate in COP27,” experts said.
They warned that Egyptian NGOs have previously been subjected to harassment, intimidation and retaliation for cooperating with the UN.
The lack of information and transparent accreditation criteria for Egyptian NGOs, a coordinated increase in hotel room rates, undue restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly outside the COP27 venue, and unjustified delays in the granting of visas Those traveling from abroad were the main concerns of civil society activists, experts said.
Civil society plays an essential role in advancing climate action, and experts stressed that Egypt must ensure safe and meaningful participation in COP27, including for independent civil society.
“Instead of further limiting their rights, civil society actors and human rights defenders, including those working on climate rights, should be given the opportunity to raise awareness of their views and protection needs” experts said.
“We strongly believe that the COP27, hosted by the United Nations, should uphold the public’s right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, as recognized by Egypt.”
Experts expressed support for calls from civil society for the UNFCCC Secretariat to develop human rights criteria that host countries of future COPs must commit to as part of the host agreement.
COP27 will take place in Sharm el Sheikh from November 6 to 18.
The experts are in dialogue with the Government of Egypt and the UNFCCC Secretariat on this issue.