Achieving consensus at COP28 will be test of UAE’s diplomatic skills


Al-Monitor Pro members


Kate Dourian

Non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute


Oct. 27, 2023

Bottom Line:

The violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas could complicate the effort to achieve a consensus agreement on tackling the climate emergency at the forthcoming climate summit in the United Arab Emirates given the polarizing effect it has had on global politics. For the UAE, as the host of the 28th edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) due to start in Dubai at the end of November, it poses a particular dilemma. The UAE is one of the few Arab nations to have diplomatic ties with Israel, which is expected to be among COP28 attendees alongside Arab leaders, many of whom have expressed solidarity with the Palestinians. The Middle East is now perceived as a region in turmoil, and there is concern that the conflict might draw other regional players and escalate into a wider conflagration. Abu Dhabi officials have dismissed suggestions that the conflict poses a security risk to the high-profile summit just weeks away. The UAE has been measured in its response to the violence in Gaza and Israel, but it will be walking a diplomatic tightrope to ensure that COP28 delivers a successful outcome. 

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