Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Sep 2022

The spokesperson of the Egyptian foreign ministry has stressed that Egypt is following the rules of the UNFCCC on accreditation of local and regional groups for the COP27 thoroughly, describing a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which claimed that Cairo is “stifling economic environmentalism” as “misleading, deplorable and counterproductive.”

Ahmed Abu Zeid

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid


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The HRW report was misleading and its publishing was counterproductive, the AP quoted Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson, as saying on Tuesday.

HRW claimed in a recent report the Egyptian authorities were “stifling environment activism” by imposing “arbitrary funding, research, and registration obstacles that have debilitated local environmental groups.”

“It is unfortunate to find such allegations and inaccuracies in the latest HRW report on the participation of environmental groups in COP27. The report is based on the testimonies of unknown sources, and unidentified groups claiming potential impediments to their participation in the conference,” AP quoted Abu Zeid as saying.

Egypt has been making round-the-clock preparations to host hundreds of NGOs and thousands of individuals who want to participate at the 27 th UN Climate Conference from 6 to 18 November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

 “It was deplorable and counterproductive to issue such a misleading report, at a time where all efforts should be consolidated to ensure the convening of a successful COP that guarantees the implementation of global climate commitments.” Abu Zeid told AP.

Later on Tuesday, Abu Zeid criticised AP on his Twitter account for only partially quoting from the statement he sent to the agency on the HRW allegations, adding that “objectivism and professionalism necessitate honest presentation of all opinions.”

He posted an image of his entire statement to the news agency, in which he said that “the procedures and rule regarding NGOs participation in all COPs are well known and publicized by the UNFCCC secretariat.”

He added that any accredited NGO to the UNFCCC has the right to participate in COP27 according to these rules.

 “Recognising the limited accreditation of environmental NGOs from Egypt, Africa and the Middle East to the UNFCCC, the government of Egypt, in its capacity as incoming COP Presidency, and in accordance with the rules of the procedure and Article 7(6) of the UNFCCC which allows the host country to recommend one-time admission of relevant organisations to the conference, recommended the participation of 56 organisations from Egypt, Africa and the region after thorough consultations with relevant national and regional stakeholders working in the field of climate change,” he explained.

” This recommendation was recently endorsed by the bureau of UNFCCC,” he stressed.

HRW and other groups have also recently expressed concern that Egypt could place limitations on demonstrations at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, which usually take place at COPs to pressure political leaders to take climate action.

The Egyptian authorities have repeatedly said that they will allow and provide safe facilities for demonstrations at the COP27.

In May, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who is also the president-designate of COP27, assured in an interview with AP that protests would be allowed during the Sharm El-Sheikh conference.

“We are developing a facility adjacent to the conference centre that will provide them the full opportunity of participation, of activism, of demonstration, of voicing that opinion,” Shoukry told AP.

On Sunday, Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly also said that the country is very keen to allow the greatest possible number of local and foreign civil society organisations to participate and express their views in the COP27.

Madbouly affirmed that Egypt is keen to accept all requests to participate in COP27 as per the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.