United Nations Kicks NGOs Out of COP-15 Climate Conference

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Nations announced today it is permanently banning thousands of accredited non-governmental organizations from the COP-15 climate conference in Copenhagen.

The restriction was announced today outside the Copenhagen conference center after several thousand accredited NGO conference delegates, including three from the National Center for Public Policy Research, waited outside for eight hours or longer in 32-degree F temperatures for admission.

NGOs apparently are being banned because the United Nations accredited 45,000 people for a building with a capacity of 15,000, although the stated reason was "security concerns." The "security concerns" may be related to the fact that, after waiting several hours in the cold, delegations began to chant, "Let us in! Let us in!"

"To be an 'accredited' or 'admitted' NGO to a COP conference, NGOs must apply months in advance, and typically only make travel plans to attend after receiving complete credentials from the United Nations," said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, an accredited COP-15 NGO organization that is as of now banned from the conference. "To give credentials to 45,000 people while choosing a building that holds 15,000 people is insane, although the United Nations, to be fair, has never been known for competence."

"What makes this an even greater travesty," said Ridenour, "is the COP-15 conference ostensibly is trying to find ways to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. If 30,000 people fly to Copenhagen for no reason, doesn't that put unnecessary greenhouse gases into the atmosphere?"

Ridenour has formally asked the U.N., which is permitting some NGOs to have many delegates inside while others are permitted none, to limit each NGO to one representative as long as space limitations remain a concern.

"Some of these NGO delegations are from rich countries like our own," said Ridenour, "but for some NGOs, raising the funds to attend a conference in Copenhagen is a real financial hardship. The least the U.N. can do is let in at least one member of these delegations, so all of their money won't be wasted."

For more information, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org or call.

Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 or dalmasi@nationalcenter.org or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or jkent@nationalcenter.org

SOURCE National Center for Public Policy Research



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