Given that the UAE has violated numerous human rights, the Global Justice should reconsider attending the COP28
Dear Team at the Global Justice,
We are writing to you as the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) draws near in order to call your attention to the pressing need for careful reflection on the seriousness of the upcoming event and the responsibility that belongs to all participating parties. The Global Justice is urged as a result to join us in calling for a boycott of COP28, which is scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in light of the troubling facts surrounding the current state of affairs in the country and the highly controversial appointment of a state-ru7n oil company chief to lead the UN climate talks.
We would like to bring to your attention some important matters that have raised serious concerns:
- We would like to bring your attention to Dr. Sultan Al Jaber's election as the president-elect of COP28. Dr. Al Jaber's appointment as CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has sparked debate. The choice of Sultan al-Jaber sends the incorrect message to those most affected by climate change. It's also a letdown for those looking for quick progress on lowering carbon emissions and delivering climate justice at COP28.
- In its first inspection of the UAE, the UN Committee against Torture expressed "concern that reports received detail a pattern of torture and ill-treatment against human rights defenders and persons accused of offences against state security." Authorities imprisoned human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor in solitary confinement for a year and denied him access to glasses, books, a bed, mattress, and pillows, as well as personal hygiene materials.2 Such extended solitary confinement, especially when combined with cruel and inhuman treatment, is tantamount to torture.
- At least 60 Emirati political dissidents, civil society activists, and defenders of human rights have been wrongfully detained by UAE authorities for more than ten years because of their support for the Reform and Social Guidance Association (al-Islah) or because they were arrested in 2012 because of their calls for reform and democracy. Some members of this gang, also known as the "UAE 94" because to the number of defendants in their mass trial, were tortured, forced disappearances, and subjected to other cruel treatment. In a 2013 trial that did not adhere to the bare requirements for a fair trial, they were given sentences ranging from 7 to 15 years in jail.
- The authorities continued to deny members of the UAE's native-born stateless community, who had ancestors from East Africa, South Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula, access to the same state-funded healthcare and education as nationals. Emiratis who are stateless must pay for education and healthcare in the private sector. Stateless people were also required to locate "sponsors" in order to get temporary residency permits, without which they are considered "illegal residents" and are ineligible for higher-paying government jobs.
- Contrary to the UN judgment that countries must begin cutting output to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change, to which the UAE is a party, the UAE increased oil production. According to World Bank data, the UAE has one of the top five highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions levels in the world.
As a result, I respectfully propose that the Global Justice boycotting COP28 in order to send a strong statement that we will not tolerate a conference that appears to be dominated by the interests of a petrostate national oil firm and its allied fossil fuel lobbyists. The Global Justice should skip paticpaiting in the COP28 as the UAE fraudulently uses its position as host nation to project an image of tolerance and openness.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Skyline International Foundation for Human Rights