Africa-mandated, the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) as party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has made much progress in developing a common position for a continent recognised for its diversity and particular vulnerability to climate change. The AGN is a significant ‘block’ of countries, with 54 member nations; however, it does not enjoy levels of resource in comparison to other major negotiating blocks, such as the European Union (EU). Hence, a coherent and influential African voice is critical if the multilateral process is to succeed. The Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for enhanced Action (ADP) emerged from this Africa-led Conference of the Parties (COP), and potentially heralds much change in the multilateral outcomes.
Support for the AGN, through its established partner, OneWorld, in advancing Africa’s position on ADP with facilitated dialogue based on technical and strategic insight, is thus central to this project. The main objective is to support the AGN in its development of the African Common Position on Climate Change (ACPCC). This involves technical, strategic and logistical support to the AGN as well as capacity strengthening of its negotiators in the UNFCCC multilateral process. The AGN further seeks support to enable the effectiveness of its Chair whilst strengthening the governance of the Group and its structures, with the overall goal to advance the multilateral process through a strengthened and influential African Common Position.
OneWorld provides back stopping to some lead coordinators within the AGN during the negotiation sessions, provides strategic advice to the AGN Chair and lead coordinators, and disseminates ongoing technical analysis and papers on key issues, as required. In particular, support is offered on key issues relating to adaptation, climate finance, and the ADP. OneWorld services have also facilitated and strengthened relationship building between negotiators, which is a critical group dynamic without which the AGN cohesion could disintegrate and be less likely to reach consensus on aspects of the common position. This is, and remains, a key and immutable outcome of support to the AGN.
Furthermore, OneWorld provides logistical and secretariat support to the AGN as needed, including organising of workshops and AGN meetings, facilitation of lead coordinators workshops, Scenario Notes for meetings, Personal Assistant support to the AGN Chair at key climate negotiation sessions, and reporting and work planning. Between 2009 and 2014, OneWorld has directly facilitated eight workshops and AGN meetings, in addition to support provided in UNFCCC/AGN meetings ahead of the COPs and Bonn Intercessionals, as well as those meetings facilitated by partner organisations, such as UNEP and ACPC. Over this time, the network of African partner institutions has grown, providing a stronger base of support to the AGN across Africa. This programmatic support complements and builds on existing African Group activities in strengthening the African voice in the international negotiations by bringing together government officials, experts, and decision makers to learn, shape, and share innovative practices throughout the region with the aim of influencing the outcomes of the formal UNFCCC negotiating sessions, in particular with a view to influencing the final outcome in 2015 in relation to the Durban Platform and the Review process under the UNFCCC.