From negative to positive!

 

Prohibited sign

Well, this morning I was kicked out of my first session! Not in the dramatic sense, but one of the Secretariat officials came up to me while I was in my chair and told me that the session would be for Parties only. However, there was no sign on the door that indicated this, and it was not observed on the meetings schedule; so how was little old me supposed to know!? The session that I was trying to sit in on was the SBSTA informal consultations on the Nairobi work programme. I had a feeling that they would make it a closed meeting, which proved true. At least as I was on my way out I didn’t huff and puff the entire way like the two men next to me, who were considerably more upset. I now have first hand experience with how difficult it can be for us observers to get a glance at the nitty gritty negotiating and discussions.

Luckily, I was able to make my way over next to the Gender Decision Contact Group, under SBI. This session followed up on Agenda Item 15 for COP 19. The group is looking to draft conclusions by this Saturday on guiding principles for the SBI to work with regarding the gender decision. (See decision here).

The Women and Gender Constituency put together a document titled Recommendations on Gender Decision, which they distributed to the room. (I can make the document available to anyone that wants to see it). The Co-Chair asked for the group who made the document to present themselves, in which a member from the Constituency then spoke. Following, several Party delegates endorsed the document and reaffirmed different parts of it.

Here are some of my paraphrases from what the women Party delegates had to say:

Malawi Delegate

Malawi Flag

 

Malawi- Establish a special fund; a travel fund for women delegates. Design a comprehensive capacity building strategy, including awareness activities for decision makers. Mainstream gender in all climate change initiatives.

 

Nepal Flag

Nepal: Many LDC’s do not have enough finances to strongly support bringing women delegates. Support for travel is a key requirement for LDC women to be present. Also suggested capacity building programs for women Party delegates.

 

 

 

Iceland Flag

Iceland: Lets stop scraping the surface, such as giving our main focus to gender balance, this is only one aspect of the discussion. Would like to see an expert on gender equality at the Secretariat. Capacity building on gender equality has to be for both males and female. Also agrees that there should be a women’s travel fund for LDC’s. Mentioned that a women’s delegate fund exists, however it is outside of the UNFCCC.

 

Bangladesh Flag

 

Bangladesh: A 1 year work plan should be established to enable the SBI to achieve some of the recommendations that have been put forward. There is a need for setting a target in terms of meeting the percentage goal for women delegates.

 

USA Flag

 

USA:  It’s time to institutionalize, no longer have these conversations at side-events and outside of the Framework process, but bring them into the official process.

 

 

Several of these points were discussed at the Workshop yesterday, but now we can see that they have officially been put on the table for consideration under the SBI.

Overall, from my vantage point, the short 45 minute session was a success, for what it was designed to do. Now it is just a matter of waiting and watching to see what the SBI does with these recommendations. The women delegates in attendance gave the SBI a lot to work with; they were organized and had their recommendations ready to go- which the Co-Chair repeatedly acknowledged and said thank you for.

 

(P.S– One last thing. I am finding that it has been easier for me to track women and gender issues, but harder for me to follow adaptation. Of course I can attend the workshops that discuss adaptation, but so far I cannot sit in on the informals or contact groups. This was expected.)