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An Utterly Confusing Day at the Bella Center

12/14/09

Today marked the first day of the second week of negotiations, but the Bella Center is still a hub of confusion.Earlier today, a few of my classmates and I listened to the AWG-KP contact group meeting as observers. The secretary’s goal was to work through “methodological issues” from the sixth session, but the madame secretary only spoke for a few minutes before Sweden explained that the contact group had to be suspended because of a lack of progress and uncertainty about the future of the two track system.

Needless to say, this statement more than irked a few of the delegates present. Peru, South Africa, Bolivia, and many others present expressed their disdain at Sweden’s lack of persevearance. These countries argued that they had all done significant preparation for this meeting and could move forward. Australia, the only supporter of Sweden in the room, cited uncertainty in upper level negotiatons as a reason to suspend negotiations. I am not sure how one country can end a meeting, but Sweden effectively ended the meeting which subsequently suspended all further AWG-KP contact group meetings.

The general feeling in the Bella Center seems to be mirroring the confusion I experienced at this meeting. In addition to the AWG-KP cancellation, China, the U.S. and others have suspended their press briefings. Many people, NGOs and delegates alike, have been running around to and fro from canceled meeting to canceled meeting.

It’s very uncertain what will happen tomorrow, largely due to the fact that only 7,000 NGOs will be allowed into the Bella Center. There have been at least three times that many accreditted since the start of COP-15, so I suppose tomorrow morning it will be a race to the gate to see who gets in and who gets kicked out.

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