The Gulf state’s human-rights record suggests it is no champion of open dialogue, say the two lawyers

Ben Keith writes for the Economist, published 27th November 2023. Read the full article here (via subscription service).

In the landscape of international diplomacy, the choice of a host country for a global summit is often symbolic. As the world prepares to converge in the United Arab Emirates (uae) for the cop28 climate conference, the decision to host such a pivotal event in the heart of the Middle East warrants scrutiny.

The uae has sought to position itself as a beacon of modernity. Yet the decision to hold cop28 in the Gulf state is problematic. The uae’s economy is heavily reliant on oil and gas, and it is one of the world’s highest per-person carbon emitters. The bbc has just reported on leaked documents that suggest the uae was looking to use its position as host of the summit to negotiate bilateral fossil-fuel deals. (The uae’s cop team did not deny this but said “private meetings are private”.)

This article is only available via subscription service. Click here to continue reading on The Economist's website.

Ben Keith is a leading barrister specialising in cross-border and international cases. He deals with all aspects of Extradition, Human Rights, Mutual Legal Assistance, Interpol, Financial crime and International Law including sanctions. He represents governments, political and military leaders, High Net Worth individuals, human rights defenders and business leaders in the most sensitive cases.

He has extensive experience of appellate proceedings before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Appeal as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and United Nations. Ben is recognised in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.