Earth Today | J’can on maiden voyage in service to global climate convention
A JAMAICAN woman has been appointed to serve the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
UnaMay Gordon, principal director of the Climate Change Division, is now one of two representatives from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC), of which Jamaica is a part, to serve that body.
"While it is not the SIDS (small island developing states) nomination, it is GRULAC, it is giving us the opportunity to support a SIDS presidency," noted Gordon in a recent interview with The Gleaner.
For the first time last year, the COP, which is in its 23rd year, was chaired by a SIDS, Fiji, whose Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will occupy the presidency until the next COP being held in Poland later this year.
Gordon - who, with this appointment, is making her maiden voyage as a Jamaica representative in the UNFCCC architecture - is among seven vice-presidents forming the bureau. There is also a president, the chairs of the subsidiary body for scientific and technological advice and the subsidiary body for implementation, together with a rapporteur.
The bureau, according to information out of the UNFCCC, provides advice and guidance regarding the ongoing work under the convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, the organisation of their sessions and the operation of the secretariat.
"The bureau is mainly responsible for questions of process management. It assists the president in the performance of his or her duties by providing advice and by helping with various tasks (e.g. members undertake consultations on behalf of the president)," the UNFCCC website revealed.
"The bureau is responsible for examining the credentials of parties, reviewing the list of IGOs (international governmental organisations) and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) seeking accreditation, and submitting a report thereon to the conference. The secretariat often seeks advice and guidance from the bureau on relevant matters," it added.
Now three months into her appointment, Gordon said she is just happy to serve.
"My life is a life of service and even though it is more work, I am honoured to be selected and, therefore, will give it my best," she said.
"The bureau should ensure that no parties (countries) are at a disadvantage, whether the delegations are small or large. The organisation of the meetings should be such that all parties feel they are benefiting from the process. I will also bring to the bureau any concern from my constituents that have elected me to serve," Gordon added.