The Guardian: NGOs criticise the Egyptian govt and UN over Cop27

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The Guardian published a report on the climate summit to be held in Egypt in November, which stated: “A group of Egyptian civil society organisations have been prevented from attending the Cop27 climate summit by a covert registration process that filtered out groups critical of the Egyptian government. “Egypt’s foreign, environment and social solidarity ministries privately selected and screened NGOs that would be permitted to apply for one-time registration for Cop27, a separate process from applications for official observer status, which closed last year. “The permitted groups were then provided with application details by the UN body responsible for overseeing Cop27, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The application process and the selection criteria were not made public and did not inform civil society groups that they could request to attend the conference via these ministries or how they could apply, essentially shutting them out”. “You don’t let a government tell the UN who is and who isn’t an NGO, certainly not the Egyptian government,” said Ahmad Abdallah of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), one of five leading organisations unable to register to attend the conference due to the screening. “You would expect the UN to have an extra duty of care when dealing with a place like Egypt to ensure that independent organisations have equal chances of applying and then examine the situation. But they’re not taking this extra care. They’re dealing with Egypt as though this was Sweden,” he added. “The result, he said, was that “the UN is colluding with the Egyptian government to whitewash this regime”.

“The Egyptian authorities’ efforts to screen out prominent organisations with a record of criticising their rule, particularly on the issue of human rights, comes amid growing concern over their treatment of protests and civil society at the Cop in Sharm el-Sheikh in November. “Observers fear that the UN risks tacitly permitting the host nation to curtail protests and civil society participation.”