An Open Letter to COP28
Programmes
30 Nov 2023

An Open Letter to COP28

Dear leaders, negotiators, and decision makers,   This year, "Unite-Act-Deliver" is the slogan of COP28, a pivotal event in the international endeavour to combat climate change. The increasing number of climate disasters in 2023, wherein severe weather phenomena have wreaked devastation on a global scale, shows the urgency of the need to act. The United States, Hong Kong, Greece, Libya, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, Taiwan, Pakistan and China were all affected by hurricanes, storms, droughts, and flooding. The floods that struck Libya and Pakistan were particularly devastating, resulting in substantial destruction of infrastructure and loss of life, and increasing sea levels and heat surges that have been felt globally have also occurred.   Furthermore, the adverse effects of climate change on food and water security on a global scale have impeded progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, food systems are accountable for one-third of worldwide green gas emissions and have slowed agricultural productivity for the past five years which entails the transformation of food systems to achieve net-zero emissions.
Double Standards: Signs of Denying Lebanon the Right to Vote in the UN
Programmes
5 Feb 2023

Double Standards: Signs of Denying Lebanon the Right to Vote in the UN

The recent statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on January 17, 2023, that Lebanon and eight other countries will lose their right to vote in the UN sparked various concerns about the standards used to make this decision. Looking at the disenfranchised list, we find common problems in these countries. Some countries—like Somalia, South Sudan, and Lebanon—suffer from political and economic crises, while others—like Venezuela—suffer from economic sanctions that have wreaked havoc on their economies. Such a decision highlights how crucial it is to link democracy with justice and raises whether the countries’ rights depend on their financial resources. Is it unacceptable for underdeveloped and distressed countries to participate in international forums and voice their thoughts? Some other countries violated, and continue to break, International Law and the UN Charter; however, they enjoy their voting rights. In addition, the UN is the primary international platform where countries seek to resolve their differences without resorting to conflict. Countries have to participate in this entity to make their voices heard in the global community; if they are excluded, they will assume individual responsibility for forging solid alliances and searching for alternative sources of communication with the rest of the worldwide community.   The current analysis aims to evaluate the provisions and procedures on which the nine countries were denied the right to vote to determine the key drivers of the decision and how the nine denied countries may restore their voting rights.