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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

African non-state actors decry ‘unjust’ location of Santiago Network on Loss and Damage in Geneva

The Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), its allies and partners, representing the active agency of Non-State Actors from across Africa have expressed reservation over the decision of the Advisory Board of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD) which held its first meeting from March 18 to 20, 2024, in Geneva and selected Geneva, Switzerland, as the host of the secretariat of the SNLD.

Non-state actors
Non-state actors

Apparently disturbed by the development, they have described the decision as “an epitome of global injustice and the power wielding tactics of the global north to control all the decision-making processes for responding to climate change globally”.

The Advisory Board meeting in Switzerland, and whose main agenda was to consider the technical report by the UNOPS-UNDRR on the cost-effectiveness, including a cost–benefit analysis of various locations around the world as options for the location of the head office of the Secretariat from a pool of potential locations, reportedly veered off from the task and avoided the recommendations of UNOPS-UNDRR report.

In the assessment process, UNOPS-UNDRR recommended Nairobi as the optimal location to host the Network based on their thorough analysis using scientifically proven methodologies from a shortlist of various other locations such as Addis Ababa, Bonn and Geneva.

“This analysis from UNOPs-UNDRR to the Advisory Board appeared to have been ignored and the Board selected Geneva, which was ranked third in the analysis,” disclosed the non-state actors.

They added: “The board in its analysis turned a blind eye on what the network is meant to deliver, further concentrating institutions of climate governance, particularly on loss and damage in the North.

“This decision by the Board demonstrates the sustained conspiracy by developed countries to keep climate response measures remote to African and other developing nations who ought to be at the centre of the capacity strengthening support of the SNLD.”

The Non-State Actors said that they are aggrieved that “the hosting right for a Platform which embodies the struggles of the communities at the frontline of climate crisis, and whose location should symbolise the very palpable rationale of tackling Loss and Damage, has once again been unjustly snatched from a deserving developing country through a clandestinely nefarious process of manipulation, carrot- dangling and intimidation”.

In pursuit of justice, transparency, and accountability to the developing nations, they condemned the decision and declared the Advisory Board’s decision a nullity.

Further, they called for:

  • Overwhelming condemnation, in the strongest possible manner, the apparent subversion of the laid-down procedures by the Advisory Board, and call upon appointing authorities, especially those from Africa and other developing countries, to investigate the possibility of collusion, carrot-dangling and manipulation by industrialised countries.
  • In order to regain the lost glory, the Advisory Board should, with immediate effect, reverse their ill-intentioned decision and adopt the recommendations from UNOPS- UNDRR by unanimously picking Nairobi as the host of the SNLD.
  • Call on the Chair of the Committee of the Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and Chair of AGN to pronounce themselves, and expeditiously compel the Advisory Board to respect and adopt the recommendations of UNOPS-UNDRR.
  • We continue to urge the Advisory Board to foster the principles of climate justice, CBDR- C, human rights including children rights, and gender equality, in addressing Loss and Damage.
  • Call on the Advisory Board to further demonstrate Goodfaith by swiftly putting together structures that will ensure countries and communities facing losses and damages are reached soonest possible and have requisite local governance structures for response. This cannot be done from Geneva!
  • Call on the SNLD to have sustainable, predictable and sufficient resources (financial, technical, and human resources) to enhance capacity of countries in responding to losses and damages occasioned by the changing climate.

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