Second thoughts? The UAE may regret its decision to host the COP28 climate conference as activists plan to use that high-profile platform to shine a bright light on the UAE's efforts to crush dissent.
Amnesty International urges COP28 delegates to press the UAE to ensure the full, free and fair participation of civil society. It advocates for reforms such as the release of imprisoned Emirati dissidents, ending of arbitrary detention and unfair trials, halting all unlawful digital surveillance, and decriminalizing same sex relationships.
Richard Pearshouse, Human Rights Watch’s environmental director, wants the UN to “seriously reflect on how they’ve allowed global climate negotiations to take place in a country where civil society can’t demand ambitious action to phase out fossil fuels without self-censorship or fear.”
Many climate activists traveling to Dubai for COP28 are concerned for their own safety because the host country jails people based on their social media posts and makes protest effectively illegal, according to Pearshouse.
The UN and the UAE signed an agreement on August 1, stating that there “will be space available for climate activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard.”
COP28 kicked off November 30 and runs through December 12.
The world will watching to see if the UAE lives up to its promise of allowing protesters to vent.
Master statesman or war criminal? The media remember Henry Kissinger as either a master of statecraft who opened China to the US and pushed for detente with the Soviet Union, or a notorious war criminal responsible for the secret bombing of Cambodia and overthrow of Chile’s elected socialist government.
The Economist noted that Kissinger was a master of self-promotion. He courted magazine editors and TV show hosts, and “took pains to be photographed with beautiful woman.”
Most telling about Kissinger’s mystique, he never shed his gravelly German accent. His voice added to the perception of his seriousness.
Kissinger’s younger brother, Walter, who also fled Germany with his mother and father in 1938 after the rise of Adolf Hitler, learned how to speak like a regular American, according to the Economist.
Walter claimed to be “the Kissinger who listens.”
Remaking ESG. NATO has established a $1B Europe-focused fund to adapt promising civilian technologies for military use. The fund is supposed to act as a commercialization machine.
“People understand that if you cannot defend yourself then no contract is worth anything,” Klaus Hommels, who heads the fund told the Financial Times. "The S in ESG needs to also stand for security.”
That's a good pitch for combatting politicos who attack environmental, social, governance funds for putting wokeness over profits.