Rio day 5: The light at the end of the tunnel?
18 Jun 20120 comments
Its day 5 here in Rio. According to my ipod app, it's really nice and warm and sunny outside but I cant say I've got much actual experience on that. It did look nice out the bus windows this morning but it might have just been a video. Or a sleep deprived hallucination. Had i know it was going to be this much work, I might have passed.
I've mentioned a lot all the meetings we have. We are have a lot of informal discussions in the halls. It's kind of the West Wing Rio Version. You can tell there are different groups of CSOs - those going to side events and panel discussions and those working the negotiation rooms. The latter are those running from pavilion T (NGOs) to 3 (negotiations) to 2 (food) with frantic looks in their eyes. Who has information? Has anything changed? What is the G77 delegation doing now? We crash into each other in the halls and between pavilions, quickly exchange information like an old carnival bumper cars game and then continue our rushed course onward, more or less enlightened. And after a week, we are all starting to look a bit aged, even the youth delegates, who are some of our biggest supporters.
They began discussions on the Brasil draft this morning. Lot of anticipation on how this would be handled. And the results are rather different. The chairs are now all Brasilian and they are defending their text quite vigorously, limiting amendments even if it was included in previous texts and well discussed. They mean business on getting it done and really want no discussion. The BRIC version of negotiations and participation I suspect we'll be seeing in the new world order.
For the most part, that means that the sections that we care about on access to information and public participation as well as human rights and transparency have not be raised by anyone as being so controversial that they need to use their small amount of input to be debated again so we are still hopeful. There is still time for things to change so we are not getting too excited (after yesterday's giddy schoolgirl moments).
Still some game playing going on - the really really really small religious semi state (have you guessed it yet) is still urging killing references to Beijing and ICPD. I think the chair might be afraid of albino assassin if they tell them to shut it. And again, they are bizarrely being supported by various delegations of a very different religion.
Its not all friendly and happy for us. They have locked us out the late night negotiations room and apparently for those that were in the room, they asked for everyones ID and threw out the NGOs. Thankfully we have a few people in our group who are on delegations so we still know what they are doing but pretty ridiculous that its come to this. But its a good excuse to go home at a semi-reasonable hour tonight. Tomorrow they promise to finish the text so that Tuesday, they can clean it up to send to the great and good who start arriving soon. Hopefully that also means lots of people will be able to come to our event on tuesday, since there are no negotiations to go monitor.