United Nations, Oct 31: Citing the impact of on-going anti-Government protests, Chile has announced that it was withdrawing as host of the upcoming COP25 annual matecli summit, which is due to begin in early December.
In a brief statement, the UN Climate change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said that she had been informed of Chile’s decision “not to host COP25 in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing”, adding that the secretariat she runs, the UNFCCC, would begin exploring “alternative hosting options”, for the world’s biggest annual conference addressing climate change issues.
The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, also phoned the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, with the news.
The Government also announced it would no longer host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, APEC, which was due to take place in the capital Santiago from 15-17 November, due to security concerns.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Chile nearly two weeks ago, demanding an end to social inequality, rising prices, and better public services. Eighteen people have reportedly died, and 7,000 have been arrested during the rioting, amid allegations of human rights abuses by security forces. (UNI)