Sunday, June 17, 2012
Life in the Pavilions
Emma again! So sorry for our absence. For your viewing pleasure, a screenshot of our week:
To our surprise (and delight), the negotiations have remained open to non-governmental observers even as we get closer and closer to the arrival of Heads of State. Delegates reserve the right to close any and all meetings if they feel that non-state actors are interfering with the process, and I tense up every time someone takes a flash camera out of it's case. Because of the designated role of the host-country, Brazilian representatives are now chairing all breakout group negotiations, in which delegates discuss the biggest underlying issues.
One of the two themes of the conference is the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, and delegates have been working on a proposal to restructure UN bodies that work on social, economic and environmental issues in order to eliminate overlap and enhance their capacity through better coordination. It's difficult to believe that we're this close to watching this enormous restructuring unfold. And there's always the big question: what effects will these agreements have on all of the people that UN bodies are trying to serve?
For really excellent coverage of the negotiations, check out the Earth Negotiations Bulletin!