So when we first discussed the idea of tracking our negotiators I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. I imagined myself standing behind a tree in the conference centre and just jumping out as Jan Thompson walked past!
But then I realised I didn’t even know what she looked like…I could accidentally jump out at anyone!
Though imagining the look on the poor persons face did distract me and make me laugh for a while I thought this probably wasn’t the best way to go! I know, I thought, I’ll do some quick googling, I’m sure to find a picture of our negotiator there, after all she’s the one representing me in talks that will decide the whole worlds future.
But unless Jan is also a professional horse rider, then I was in with no luck! How can this be? This woman has my future in her hands, why do we all not know what she looks like?
Then I also realised that jumping out from behind a tree was probably not the look I was going for. This may be a lighthearted blog post but the task at hand is deadly serious…literally. Just a few days ago a report came out attributing 300,000 deaths a year to climate change. We are talking about people’s survival, their pure and simple right to life here. Jumping out from behind a tree was definitely not the way to go about putting my message across.
So after abandoning this plan I really didn’t know where to go next, I started to give up hope of ever meeting Jan Thompson (dramatic you may think, after all this is only day one of the talks! But one day seems to stretch on FOREVER here and in my tired state I was already getting desperate!).
But then a miracle happened!
As I was walking back from a meeting talking to an NGO link I have been hooked up with THERE SHE WAS! Jan Thompson was just stood in the lobby of the hotel where the conference happens (now I know what you’re thinking…how on earth did she know this when she just said she doesn’t know what Jan Thompson looks like? Well this is where my lovely NGO buddy Sarah came in very useful, many thanks Sarah!)
We hung around for a bit as Jan finished talking to some people and then we pounced…well when I say pounced, I mean we politely approached Jan and Sarah introduced me!
I told Jan about the project, luckily she had read about us in the daily newsletter that gets circulated at the talks and I promised her not to jump out from behind any trees and take photos (little did she know how close this had been to happening!). It was quite a brief chat where the main thing I learnt is that we in the UK have a HUGE negotiating team. We have about 50 different people who take part in the negotiations. This is something I never realised and I’d be interested to know how this compares to other countries and also what effect this has on different negotiations. I shall do some investigation and report back for you later.
But most importantly Jan finished the conversation with, “well we better do a good job then” I laughed a little and said “that’s pretty much it”. Though I was again light hearted I hope she did get the message. Yes we better had do a good job! We are a country that’s over powerful for it’s size, we began the industrial revolution, we set the world on this path and so it’s time we took the lead, especially within the EU, and helped the whole world find a new path. There’s absolutely no room for not doing a good job here, my future, all our futures are partially in her hands. I honestly believe we CAN get a good deal if we work hard enough, as I learnt today, there’s no such thing as mission impossible!