SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt – As I flew home from COP27, the airplane was quiet and I reflected on my past ten days in Sharm. COP27 was an exciting and overwhelming experience for me. With hundreds of interesting panels going on simultaneously in different pavilions and negotiation rooms, I have suffered from FOMO (fear of missing out). Will these talks lead somewhere? It is too early to tell as negotiations continue this week, but we can expect some outcomes by Sunday.
As it is too early to comment on the outcomes, I want to share my experience at COP and especially what did not convince me. I think the best word to describe it is “controversy." First, the U.N. event is all about inclusivity and making sure that every party is heard: Egypt, the host country, is not exactly a champion in granting peaceful assembly and free speech.
During October, Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of people for calling for anti-government protests during the conference. Ahmed Attar, executive director of the Egyptian Network for Human Rights, told Middle East Eye on Tuesday that up to 1,000 people have been arrested in recent weeks. The arrests targeted journalists, lawyers and mostly young people.
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