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Copenhagen in Chaos

December 16, 2009

161209—Tension has been extremely high at Bella Center and its environs. Waking up this morning from mere 3 hours of sleep, I would never have imagined what has transpired in the following hours. Arriving at the conference venue, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of queues and I breezed through security without any problems. What ensued as I sheltered myself in the warmth of the building was totally unexpected.

First, the high level segment started messily, with parties continuously arguing about the lack of procedures, transparency and accountability of others. Many also lamented the fact that the final texts of the two ad-hoc working groups remain unresolved as high level ministers and heads of state arrive. Many issues are still subject of intense negotiations and despite the seemingly optimistic tone of some officials, success (whatever that word means) seems difficult to foresee at the conclusion of the conference in two days time. (as I write this, a session scheduled to settle outstanding issues on long term cooperative action has been postponed for another hour, it was supposed to start almost 3 hours ago)

Adding to this gloom would be the logistical nightmare of delegates. Members of two NGO groups were stripped of their accreditation, but they have continued to protest this injustice. This is coupled with almost 20000 civil society member not being to be registered at all. Many protests have also began outside the Bella Center, with reports of many stand-offs with the police with arrests being made. Many civil society members have expressed their frustration and anger due to the lack of progress of the talks as well as their exclusion from the negotiating process.

The hours and days ahead are unpredictable. Personally, as access to the Bella Center continues to decrease, I do not foresee myself being present at the conference venue from tomorrow. I earnestly hope that the government delegates will negotiate with one ultimate aim in mind–the well being of humanity and our planet. The world awaits on the decisions that will be made.

Failure cannot be an option.

Live from the heart of the action

Zhe Yu

ECO Singapore

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