Greetings from an exhausted IFMSA COP16 Team – Nick writing here!
In the build up to the end of COP16, things have started to get pretty crazy here in Mexico! The high-level delegates to the conference have recently flown in, in an attempt to restart the stalled negotiations. The idea here, is that fresh negotiators who are aware of the political situations in each others countries will almost be able to “Kick Start” life back in to the discussion.
And the IFMSA COP16 Team has been tying up loose ends, working on all aspects of the text, from pushing Health in to the text in collaboration with the WHO, through to the “Fast-Track Finance” of the discussions, pushing for faster action, NOW.
I’ve been getting up to a whole range of things at COP. Only a few hours ago I managed to grab the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, for a quick interview on the importance of youth, and how health can be integrated into the responses to climate change. The UNSG was incredibly supportive, stating that youth advocacy was ESSENTIAL, and impelling us to continue our engagement with climate change at the international political level. He pleaded with us to make as much noise around climate change and health as possible. You see, as soon as we stop, governments can look away, and the action goes out the window. He said he would stand side-along-side with youth and civil society to reach a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty. So, IFMSA, don’t stop campaigning!
Interventions were made by the IFMSA COP16 team twice today, showing just how spread across the entire range of issues we are! The first was at a WHO Event on Climate Change and Resilience, which was jointly attended by the Minister of Health of Mexico, Bangladesh and the FYR Macedonia. Directly addressing the Minister of Health of Mexico, the IFMSA wanted to know how best to communicate their message to governments at, and in between COPs. With this knowledge in mind, we’re setting off on a new strategy for action. At the second intervention, we addressed the entire UN System, speaking to the heads of each of the UN Special Agencies (except Maggy Chan, who couldn’t make it down to sunny Mexico), seeking to discuss ways in which the UN System could deliver as one for the betterment of Climate Change and Health.
The World Health Organisation has also rallied together with negotiators and civil society from around the world for one last push for Health in to the text. You wouldn’t believe the energy, the expertise, and the excitement in the room!
There’s been plenty of other work going on from all aspects of the Team… so just briefly!
Charlotte’s been pushing hard for the swift passing of Article 6 through the COP; Daniela’s been working ALBA (the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas); Sudhvir, Arthur and Usman have been pumping through the surveys on Climate Change and Health like there will be no tomorrow if we don’t sole this issue; and I’ve been working with the EU on Climate Finance, trying to calm the muddy waters.
Expect to hear from us soon!!!
Nick and the COP16 Team.