Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Climate meeting fails expectations

"This time, perhaps, the UN has found a new raison d'être to extend its mission and increase its budget by engaging in such a big event," wrote Satea Nourreidne in a comment piece for the Lebanese newspaper Al Safir.

The Copenhagen Climate Conference brought down its curtain after ten days of boring scenes that did not help dissipate the general feeling that the much-debated climate issue was more akin to a science fiction tale than reality, wrote Satea Nourreidne in a comment piece for the Lebanese newspaper Al Safir.  "The conference was absurd, a reminder of many summits organised previously by the United Nations. This time, perhaps, the UN has found a new raison d'être to extend its mission and increase its budget by engaging in such a big event in terms of participants and the sensitive issue it was supposed to tackle."

 The conference was also absurd because the UN should know that such a forum, based on past experiences, was unlikely to yield binding resolutions or even a statement of intent about concrete measures to address climate change. Amid this huge crowd of participants, the core issue - climate change - was lost in a drama of exchanging blame over who is the worst polluter. The world was divided into two factions: wealthy nations, accused of being the major emitter of carbons, and poor countries, which demanded compensation as victims. Political and economic interests won over environmental concerns. This was seen in the "climate battle" between the US and China backed by their supporters. 

"The GCC summit in Kuwait came up with some decisive resolutions, such as an electricity grid system, the creation of a joint force for quick intervention, enforcing the monetary union agreement, and condemning the Houthi aggression and supporting the unity of Yemen, wrote Tariq Alhomayed in a comment article in the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat. Some other recommendations turned out to be as equally important as the decisions taken. This concerns the proposal put forward by Qatar in which it called for establishing a joint development bank. The plan is very crucial to the GCC countries in case they need to make their financial actions more effective through strategic spending on development programmes. This can apply, for example, to Yemen, if the member states decide to help this conflict-battered country to emerge from its financial crises. The bank is likely to institutionalise aid and control any related spending mechanisms. "One may argue that Qatar's proposal aims first at the GCC population, which is true. Yet, the Gulf leaders know that they cannot ignore Yemen for geographic, political and security reasons. They also know that Yemen is the missing block in the GCC organisational structure."

"When the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the UN Security Council decision 1701 is outdated, this had one explanation: he harbours an intent to launch new aggression on Lebanon," wrote Bassam al Dhaw in an opinion piece for the Qatari daily Al Watan.

Resolution 1701 regulates the operations of the UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon in co-operation with the Lebanese army, which the Israelis approved more than three years ago, although their air force, on many occasions, has violated Lebanese airspace. The Israelis were tempted to take advantage of the resolution to breed sedition among Lebanese political forces, especially between Hizbollah and other blocs. "Yet, the reality ran against the ill will of Israelis. The majority of the Lebanese embraced the cause of resistance because they knew the risks posed by the Israelis, and this trend took a broad dimension after the government was formed. The political scene in Lebanon became marked by close collaboration between the resistance and the Lebanese army, a situation that currently bothers the Israelis and the Americans alike." Mr Netanyahu openly threatened to strike Lebanon again to send a warning message to both Syria and Iran. He also intended to turn the world's attention away from Israeli settlement activities and their ongoing encroachment in East Jerusalem.

"Nearly two months ago, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon promised to refer the Goldstone Report on Gaza to the Security Council as soon as possible following the recommendation of the UN General Assembly," commented the UAE daily Al Khaleej in its editorial. 

The phrase used "as soon as possible" seems to imply a different meaning in this context. When it comes to Israel, time seems to stop to the effect that no international laws and concepts gather meaning, and the Israelis always stay beyond the reach of international justice as a result. All the decisions indicting Israel's occupation, acts of aggression and policies against Arabs have been shelved. Meanwhile, those related to Arabs were immediately enforced, such the case with Libya, Iraq, Sudan and others. Adding insult to injury, Arabs, in a display of their respect of international law, were themselves the forerunners in implementing these decisions although they were targeting other Arab states. 

"Unfortunately, no Arab state as yet has asked the UN secretary general what has become of the report and when it is likely going to be discussed. But why should they ask for that as long as they are not in any hurry?" * Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi melmouloudi@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National