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Moldova and Serbia Eye Presidency of UN Climate Summit Amid Deadlock

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Olalekan Adigun
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Moldova and Serbia Eye Presidency of UN Climate Summit Amid Deadlock

In the midst of an unprecedented deadlock, Moldova has volunteered to preside over the upcoming United Nations climate summit, COP29, while Serbia is also considering running for the role, according to internal sources and documents. The presidency of the UN climate summit, which rotates between five global regions, is due for Eastern Europe this time. However, the countries of this region have been unable to reach a consensus on a candidate.

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Moldova and Serbia's Bids for Presidency

Moldova has offered to take on the presidency role, but has not proposed to host the summit. Conversely, Serbia is pondering a bid to both host and run the event, but has not yet made a formal proposition. The environment ministry of Moldova and the office of the president of Serbia have remained silent on the matter. Both nations, currently in the process of applying to join the EU, stand at contrasting ends of the geopolitical spectrum. Moldovan President Maia Sandu has openly criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while Serbia continues to maintain a traditional alliance with Russia.

Implications of the COP Presidency

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The role of the COP president is of paramount importance, steering discussions among nearly 200 attending nations. Should an agreement on a new president fail to materialize, the United Arab Emirates may retain the role for a second year. Furthermore, Germany, where the UN's climate secretariat is based, could potentially host the summit. A spokesperson from the German foreign office stated that Eastern European countries are engaged in discussions to find a resolution.

Delay and Time Constraints

The delay in deciding a host for COP29 presents a significant challenge, leaving little time for preparation. As a result, some negotiators expect the event to be scaled back due to the time constraints. The geopolitical spat, coupled with the ongoing Ukraine war, has complicated matters further, making a unanimous decision virtually impossible. This deadlock raises crucial questions about the future course of vital climate discussions and the effectiveness of the United Nations' climate initiatives.

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