FIJIAN HELPS BRING EFFICIENCY?TO CLIMATE CONFERENCE?

Caption:?Fijian Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli at the meeting in Lima, Peru. Photo: SUPPLIED.

International climate change negotiations under?the?UN?Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has a mere 20 year history but even observers will?lose sleep trying to?understand the?process.

Fiji?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena?Yauvoli, in his year-long role as Chair of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body of Implementation (SBI),?has brought a fresh approach into the process that has positively shaken up proceedings at the climate conference currently underway in Lima, Peru.

Mr?Yauvoli?s?friendly but firm time management approach, with an emphasis on efficiency and focus, has resulted in prompt, timely and well-coordinated negotiating sessions.?The high-level UN undertaking, a great honour for the Permanent Secretary, is a first for Fiji.

Two permanent subsidiary bodies?exist?under the?UN climate change?Convention: the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice?(SBSTA), which?links?expert information or?the science to?policy;?and?the?Subsidiary Body of Implementation?(SBI), which makes implementation and policy recommendations to the Convention.

During the first week?of negotiations,?many parallel,?informal?meetings?of SBSTA and SBI?took place,?with?each?series of?meetings?focusing?on specific?agenda items. In an ideal Conference of the Parties (COP),?the?end of the first week of negotiations would?see?an?agreed?draft?Decision?presented under each Conference agenda at?the high-level segment of the negotiations?during?week two?(this week).

A sometimes highly?complex and often lengthy?task,?the?effective?coordination of?the?subsidiary?bodies?in week one?is vital to the?success of?the Convention process, including?the?regularity of?sleep patterns?among?negotiators.

At yesterday’s closing of the SBI and SBSTA plenary meetings in Lima,??old-hands? have?already?praised?the efficiency of?this year?s?SBI and SBSTA?processes. The?Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana?Figueres,?a former climate negotiator for her Costa Rican homeland, made reference?in her closing?SBSTA?remarks,?to?how?unusual?it was that the initial?proceedings?were?concluded during sunlight rather than?the usual?moonlight.

DEPTFO