COP27: LGBT representation needs lifting at global climate talks DRAFT

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Pacific parties at the United Nations Conference on climate change have the unique role of being moral compass when world leaders meet annually.

However, at Sharm-El-Sheik in Egypt, there are questions about whether delegations from the islands include vulnerable groups of Pacific societies.

Ambassador Satendra Prasad, the head of Fiji’s delegation to COP27 said a recent Amnesty International report stating that members of the LGBT communities are left out of global climate change discussions are accurate.

“The civil society from Pacific is mixed. Some would say it is well represented (but) I would say it is still an underrepresented population. Several organizations from the region are representative. For example, presidents of several other civil society organizations in the
the composition of national government delegations,” Ambassador Prasad said.

He said that while advise was given to all national governments, it was “very much left to national governments” adding “we should all be encouraging government delegations to be as inclusive as possible across our region.”

Sefanaia Nawadra, the Director General of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme said the organisation had tried to address the issue by financing the participation of some youth.

He said SPREP had left to the youth organisations to themselves choose delegates who were representative of the youth population.

“That is their own process but just judging by the people that we’ve got here. There’s a fair representative of theLGBT rainbow community represented and various delegations, including the National delegations.”

Kate Brown, the co-chair of the Local2030 Islands Network said the Pacific youth presence at COP27 was visible and said their story telling was heartfelt.

“I think that the Pacific has a really powerful presence at this camp, both visually, but just the numbers, and the strategy on what the Pacific is actually undertaking. It’s incredibly impressive, I think I could just compare it to some of the other regions,” Ms Brown said.

“The Pacific tells their stories and shares their examples from their heart, they’re talking about their lived experience.”

Ms Brown, Mr Nawadra and Ambassador Prasad were guests on Day 7 of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Pacific COP27 Daily Media Briefing. The daily initiative acts as a virtual newsroom for Pacific journalists to reach participants of the COP27 currently taking place in Egypt.–Lice Movono

Lice Movono is a Pacific Affairs journalist based in Suva, Fiji reporting for Australian and New Zealand media.

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