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190 Countries Meet To Resume Sessions On the Paris Climate Change Agreement

The Paris Agreement is critical to driving trillion-dollar investment into the global low carbon economy.

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Developed countries are being urged to honour Paris Agreement. Flickr
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Negotiators from nearly 190 countries, including India, gathered here on Tuesday for the six-day resumed sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement amid strong calls for progress.

At the resumed session, the countries will focus on developing the implementation guidelines of the Paris agreement.

The guidelines in a ‘rulebook’ are needed to provide guidance on how to implement the agreement and to see transparently how countries are progressing in their actions.

The opening of the session saw a brief addresses by Prime Minister of Fiji Bainimarama, who is currently presiding over the climate change negotiations, as well as the Polish in-coming COP President Michal Kurtyka, who will preside over the negotiations at this year’s climate change conference or COP24 to be held in Katowice in Poland in December.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand Surasak Karnjanarat and Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa also addressed the opening.

 

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The implementation guidelines will unlock practical actions.Flickr

 

All speakers strongly urged negotiators to step up the pace of their work and to move towards negotiating texts that capture clear options on the implementation guidelines that can swiftly be finalized and adopted in Katowice.

This is crucial given the deadline that countries set for themselves to complete this work at COP24 this year.

Executive Secretary Espinosa said COP24 was now right around the corner.

“We are working against the clock. We must now complete the heavy lifting and we must do it rapidly. UN Climate Change stands ready to assist countries,” she said.

Current COP President Bainimarama impressed upon delegates that the six-day Bangkok talks were urgent.

“In these few days, we have the opportunity to put the Paris Agreement on a path from words to action,” he said.

The implementation guidelines will unlock practical actions and bring the agreement’s institutions to life.

 

Paris Agreement
The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference Paris will bring together leaders with the goal of creating a universal climate agreement that will keep global warming down. Flickr

 

This is vital for all aspects of climate action, including enabling ambitious global and national adaptation action and emission reductions, developing fair transparency and compliance arrangements and mobilizing means of implementation, especially with respect to finance, to support developing country action.

In-coming COP President Kurtyka said non-state actors were steaming ahead and that governments had to keep up with that pace by putting in place the implementation guidelines.

He urged delegates to craft clear texts in Bangkok that they could work with at COP24.

“Clarity and a streamlined text is my request,” he said.

Global investors are closely watching and formulating their expectations for this round of negotiations.

Aviva Investors Chief Responsible Investment Officer Steve Waygood said: “After a summer of extreme weather events across the globe, the risk that unchecked climate change poses has never been clearer.

Paris Agreement
Education – along with training and public awareness – plays a key role in the global response to climate change, as recognized by Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. Flickr

“It’s time for country delegates at UN climate talks this week to agree on ambitious and robust rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. As a global insurer and investor, we rely on a transparent and consistent regime to deliver the essential global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Also Read: Asia’s Increase In Consumption of Meat to Cause Environmental Problems: Researchers

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said: “The Paris Agreement is critical to driving trillion-dollar investment into the global low carbon economy.

“An ambitious and transparent implementation rulebook, holding countries to account for delivering and scaling-up their commitments on climate change, will lock in policy certainty and underpin investor confidence.” (IANS)

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Somalia Calls To Outlaw Female Genital Mutilation

Flavia Mwangovya, End Harmful Practices program manager at Equality Now, said an anti-FGM law would curb the practice.

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FILE - A badge reads "The power of labor aginst FGM" is seen on a volunteer during a conference on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in Cairo, Egypt. VOA

A spate of deaths of young girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) has renewed calls for Somalia to outlaw the tradition.

Four girls, ages 10 and 11, from central and northern Somalia have died in the last three months after having been cut, and seven others are in hospitals, activists said.

“More and more cases of girls who have died or end up seriously injured after FGM are coming out,” said Hawa Aden Mohamed, director of the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development, a local women’s group in the east African country.

“These cases confirm what we have been saying all along — that FGM kills and that we need a law to stop it,” Mohamed said. “The harm it causes is blatantly clear.”

 

Somalia
A Somali woman walks through a camp of people displaced from their homes elsewhere in the country by the drought, shortly after dawn in Qardho, Somalia, March 9, 2017. VOA

 

An estimated 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia, the United Nations says.

One of 28 African countries where the tradition is endemic, Somalia has the world’s highest rates of FGM — 98 percent of women between 15 and 49 have undergone the ritual.

Somalia’s constitution prohibits FGM, but efforts to pass legislation to punish offenders have been stalled by parliamentarians afraid of losing voters who view FGM as a part of their tradition.

Government and hospital officials were not immediately available to comment on the deaths or hospital admissions.

The charity Save the Children said it rescued seven girls — aged between 5 and 8 years old — on Sunday from Somalia’s northern Puntland state. The girls had undergone FGM and were bleeding excessively; they are now receiving hospital treatment.

Somalia
Ads Campaign against female genital mutilation Flickr

“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg as many more cases go unreported,” said Timothy Bishop, country director of Save the Children in Somalia.

Campaigners said Suheyra Qorane Farah, 10, from Puntland died Sunday after contracting tetanus, having undergone FGM on Aug. 29.

Two sisters, Aasiyo and Khadijo Farah Abdi Warsame, age 10 and 11, from the same region bled to death Sept. 11 after visiting a cutter across the border in neighboring Ethiopia.

The death of Deeqa Nuur, 10, in July from severe bleeding following FGM prompted the attorney general to initiate Somalia’s first prosecution against FGM — using existing laws — but the investigation has faced challenges.

Also Read: Every Three Minutes a Teenage Girl is Infected by HIV- UNICEF

Flavia Mwangovya, End Harmful Practices program manager at Equality Now, said an anti-FGM law would curb the practice.

“A specific law can express punishments and specify stiffer penalties, ensure that all accomplices are held accountable, and gives guidance on the kind of evidence needed to prove the crime,” she said. (VOA)