International negotiations never look like what they are. Amidst all the buzz and media coverage who takes the real decisions? Who calls the shots? Whose voice is heard? and whose voice is heard and forgotten? and how many are deaf?
The International potical governance is set up in a top- bottom approach. Countries send a delegation of around anywhere around 2 to 17 memeber delegates who are known as ‘parties’. It was only in the Johannesburg conference in 1992 that the concept of sustanaible development was constituted and in 1995 was it decided that COP- Conference of parties will involve the participation of local bodies, NGOs etc as “OBSERVER” organisations.Slowly these observer organisations got expanded to environmental NGO’s- ENGOs and RINGOs and BINGOs which are research NGOs and Business NGOs respectively.
To make sure our voices are heard, The UNFCCC Secretariat gives the whole NGO community exactly 1 whole min.
WOW ! a whole minute to stuff in propositions which have all the world’s NGO submissions! If it wasn’t enough, I have personally witnessed a lot of Parties sleeping during this one minute or laughing, or mocking or basically turning a deaf ear! So what are we here for ? We are here to make sure that our country delegations don’t take the worst possible stance in the negotiations. We are hear to build pressure. Whether they succumb to pressure or not is clearly dependent on the nature of delegation they are. Usually the global south country delegations are easily approachable and are very cooperative but the Northern delegations don’t really care much.
Even within delegations politics goes on and sometimes being in a a party doesn’t assure you a voice!
So why am I still here trying to do something? Maybe it makes sure that what I witness here is communicated to all of you! so keep reading, so and carry the message forward.