COP18-Introduction

Hello lovely IFMSAians from all over the world!

It is with our great pleasure to give a brief introduction to COP18, which is being held in Doha, Qatar from today November 26th until December 7th.

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Conference of Parties is the biggest meeting of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change) that happens annually and brings together all sectors that are working on climate change. Over the next two weeks, over 15 thousand participants, from ministers to NGOs and UN observers to youth, will come together from all over the world to the State of Qatar with one clear goal: face the challenge of climate change. Note that we are not only 15 thousand people in Qatar; we are in actuality just the tip of the iceberg representing the climate movement.

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According to Lancet and the University College of London (UCL), climate change is the greatest global health threat of the 21st century. Health impacts of climate change affect the social and environmental determinants of health and have a direct cost of 2-4 billion US dollars every year, causing an estimated excess of 140,000 deaths annually.

Being that IFMSA is the major medical student organization in the world with a mission of raising awareness on global health issues, we aim to have a major impact in the negotiations, as well as in the rest of the civil society and reporting back to medical students worldwide regarding matters of the conference.

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IFMSA priorities for COP18 include raising awareness of health impacts of climate change and adaptation to these impacts, promoting health co-benefits of climate change mitigation and promoting gender equity in climate actions, which include actions during the UNFCCC gender day on November 27th. As part of our plan of action for this conference, we’ll be working together with the World Health Organization (WHO), including our official participation in the side events organized by them, as well as with the climate and health alliance, that is inclusive of all organizations working on climate and health.

One of our main efforts in the negotiations will be to building capacity and education, continuing the same work line of past delegations on formal and non formal education (article 6). We will also focus on financing, considering the importance of setting health as a priority for the Green Climate Fund.

As one of the priorities of this year’s EB and TO is seeking for transparency in all the activities the federation is involved in, therefore, the delegation will be making an extra effort in both maintaining and sustaining communication within the IFMSA family. We can be followed throughout our time at the conference through several different online platforms, such as: checking our daily blog updates, following us in IFMSA twitter and #IFMSAatCOP18, organizing virtual participation sessions (more news coming within the next two days through the NMO server and IFMSA general servers), IFMSA facebook page and in the stakeholder Outreach Health Edition forum.

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Please feel free to email or tweet any comment or question you may have about the negotiations and our role in the conference.

Best Regards from sunny Doha,

Lujain Alqodmani, María Aroca, Tanya Kondolay and Rennie Qin

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