4th day CSD-17

Day 4 started as usual with 2 briefings, then on to the hall where they were discussing cross-cutting issues. I sat next to Peter (delegate on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of the USA and a veteran of UN conferences). Within 5 minutes we’d decided that our time was better spent finalising our discussion points, so off we went to the BIC offices, grabbing Duncan and Jeff on the way.

We’re so blessed to have these facilities, next to the UN building. It’s our refuge, sanctuary and meeting place. And the BIC offers its meeting rooms for free to other NGOs, unheard off in New York!

Good solid discussions on words, directly linking our ideas to the climate change statement in the negotiation text, resulting in a direct email from Duncan to the Canadian delegation with our wording. We’ll see what happens.

Duncan and I went back to the afternoon session in the hall where they were finishing off the first reading of working group I. The chair gave everybody a 5-minute break before starting the 2nd reading. Second reading starts with G77 saying they thought negotiations would start on Friday morning and they needed more time to consult. So……..what do you do? This is G77 (representing 130 countries) asking for more time.

Well, as chair you check with the other countries (EU, USA, Canada, Australia, Norway, Japan, Mexico, Israel) if they are OK with the delay and after about 15 minutes it’s agreed that tomorrow will do fine. The chair reminds everybody that the 2nd reading needs to be finished by midnight tomorrow in order to be able to start final negotiations on Monday. Minor issues: UN translators only work until 6 PM ! They might be persuaded to work until 8 PM, but definitely not later than that…..

Anyway, we got out early and then hang around until the 6 PM  meeting of all Major Groups with 10 experts of the EU. Good questions, sometimes slightly evasive answers, but also some direct clear support. Brain-dead after all this, we (Duncan, Melody and me) then went for a meal, inviting someone from the Dutch delegation and very active in the  Women and NGO group to join us. Fascinating evening in which she shared amazing background knowledge about CSD, UN procedures, and what will happen next week. We impressed our Canadian friends by speaking 7 & 5  languages respectively, so we told them never to ask a Dutch person how many languages they speak unless you want to be amazed 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. you constantly amaze me and not just by the number of languages you speak!

    • Thanks Margaret, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. Please let Sue F. know about my blog as well.

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