Students from the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, participated in the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, as part of the UAE’s youth delegation.
The main aim of COP24, that ran from 2 to 14 December, was to reach an agreement on a broad set of implementation guidelines that will enable countries to translate the Paris Agreement on climate change into national policies. The agreement, which was adopted in 2015, has been ratified by 184 countries and will be the central multilateral mechanism for global cooperation and action on climate change, starting from 2020. The UAE was among the first countries in the region to sign the agreement.
His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “We are proud that this is the third time a delegation from EDA attended a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference. The six EDA students who participated in this year’s COP had the unique opportunity to study first-hand UAE’s role in shaping the international climate change policy action.”
The EDA delegates attended several negotiating sessions, as well as coordination sessions of the developing countries’ G-77 and China group, as well as the Arab Group. They also had the chance to attend multiple high-level events on global climate action in which experts from across the world participated.
In addition to meeting with His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and leader of the UAE delegation, the EDA team participated in the UAE delegation’s coordination meetings and side events. As part of their training, the students prepared real-time reports from the negotiations for the UAE delegation each day. They also had the chance to interact with delegates from different countries, including negotiators, as well as youth and civil society representatives, in addition to visiting country pavilions and attending cultural events.
His Excellency Bernardino León added: “It is crucial that the diplomats of today and tomorrow understand major global challenges such as climate change, because addressing these issues requires strong international cooperation that can only be achieved through effective diplomacy. Attending COP24 has helped EDA students appreciate the necessity of a multilateral approach, as everyone is a stakeholder in the welfare of the planet.”
The trip to Katowice was part of EDA’s special two-month course on ‘UN Climate Change Negotiations’, offered annually to a select group of students. The course explores the theoretical and practical aspects of multilateral climate diplomacy in line with the UAE’s vision to support global climate action and promote youth participation in decision-making and climate action.
The course comprises preparatory classes, simulations and workshops, and culminates in a week-long trip to the COP, which provides the students with privileged access to the world’s largest intergovernmental negotiation process.
The course falls within the framework of EDA’s ‘Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development’ research and training programme, which also develops stakeholder workshops and policy briefs published throughout the year.Email This Post