desember 2009

Omkring 40 ungdommer sitter nå på gulvet midt inne på Bellasenteret.De nekter å flytte seg før verdens ledere signerer en FAB avtale (fair, ambitious, legally binding).

Ungdommer fra hele verden nekter å forlate klimaforhandlingene

Miljø- og utviklingsminister Erik Solheim støtter kravet deres.

Over 11 millioner mennesker har skrevet under på at de vil ha en FAB avtale. Det folkelige presset er stort. Likevel ser det ikke ut som at verdens ledere klarer å komme til enighet om en slik avtale.

– Vi kan ikke godta en avtale som betyr at land og kulturer ødelegges, sier Sophie fra Belgia. – Det er vår framtid det forhandles om, sier Josh fra Storbrittania. – Vi nekter å la de som ikke lever i 2050 komme unna med noe mindre enn en RETTFERDIG, AMBISIØS OG BINDENDE avtale.

Miljø- og utviklingsminister Erik Solheim er på Bellasenteret, og kunne ikke unngå å legge merke til ungdommene da han gikk gjennom hovedgangen. – Jeg støtter kravet deres, sier Solheim, og legger til at han håper at de får det som de vil.

En av guttene er blitt tatt av vaktene og kastet ut av senteret. Det er uvisst om han er arrestert. Resten av ungdommene fra Kenya, Australia, USA (+++) sitter fortsatt og venter på det Erik Solheim i omtaler som «et mirakel». Nemlig en avtale som sikrer alle land og folkeslag en framtid.

Politiet tar med seg en av ungdommene

Jack, Marita, Guri, Hallvard og Johanne på Bellasenteret i Københan

Spire er ikke den eneste Norske ungdomsorganisasjonen på klimatoppmøtet. I dag skulle vi, Natur og Ungdom, LNU, Changemaker  og Unge Venstre møte Solheim for å legge felles press på Norge. Ungdom vil måtte leve med klimaendringer på en helt annen måte enn foreldrene våre. Det er derfor viktig at vi får sagt vår mening og at vi blir hørt. Situasjonen i forhandlingene er imidlertid så intens nå at Solheim ikke fikk møtt oss. Men plutselig dukket ingen ringere enn utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre opp… (mer…)

USA vedkjenner seg sitt historiske ansvar, men er ikke villig til å ta konsekvensene av det.

På en pressekonferanse den 10. desember sa USAs sjefsforhandler Todd Stern:

«We absolutely recognize our historic role in putting emissions in the atmosphere up there that are there now. But the sense of guilt or culpability or reparations – I just categorically reject that.» (mer…)

Klimaforhandlingene er et sirkus. De siste dagene har vi løpt rundt fra møte til aksjoner til forhandlinger og atter andre møter. Etter hvert begynner vi heldigvis å få litt mer rutine på det. Det betyr at vi forhåpentligvis blir flinkere til å oppdatere bloggen:) Denne bloggen er dedikert til alle ungdommene som ofrer nattesøvn, studier og helse for klimaet.

Ungdommer støtter Tuvalu


Nå er de første fire Spirene – Guri, Lan, Anahita og Kamilla – på plass i København. Det har vi forsåvidt vært i noen dager, men det har skjedd så utrolig mye at vi ikke en gang har fått tid til å blogge! Men her kommer altså første post. Følg med – vi poster mer veldig snart!

Kamilla og Guri da bombehunder gjennomsøkte konferansesenteret.


I come from the Dominican Republic, where it seems that the way of managing the relations between the Third sector and the First sector (NGO´s and Government) is very similar to the other Latin American countries and most of the Less-Develop Countries (LDC) Thus, having the experience of participating in this WTO Conference confirmed that to me.

For the other half of the coin, there are the relations between the Civil Society institutions and the State´s entities in the High-Income Countries tending to be in an opposite direction than to the LDC experiences and with similarities among them.

The specific case I lived was the confrontation of the relations between the Official Norwegian Delegation (OND) and the Official Dominican Delegation (ODD) with the NGO´s.

There are 3 main things to highlight.

From the very beginning I got surprised by the first item of the Norwegian NGO´s agenda: To meet with the OND at their offices in Geneva.

On top of that, there were some people from the NGO´s working closely with the OND in almost all meetings.

And on the second day all the Norwegian NGO´s had a meeting (quick but 1) with the OND to talk directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

These 3 issues didn’t seem to surprise the Norwegian NGO´s too much (at least not that obvious, or as it was for me)

In the other hand, for the Dominican side, things were a bit different.

The names and institutions of the representatives to come to Geneva were never clear, not to the Dominican NGO´s network or in the State Press and Communications Office. I tried to contact the only NGO that was listed to participate, but didn´t got any answer and at the end they did not came (anyway it was a Sindical Union which is known to be too much on the government side and not on the workers side)

Wandering a bit in the hallways I could distinguish a familiar Spanish accent and immediately I approached them. Indeed they were part of the ODD. We talked for a little while and with some friendly efforts they agreed on having their breakfast together with me on the next day.

The meeting had a few interesting or surprising points to highlight, at the end I realized they didn´t expected me to be interested in the matters of the country with the WTO, in fact they confessed to be expecting from the meeting some tips and ideas on moving around Geneva and Europe. I shared some smiles and cheap talk to get along that flow and then get space to my questions.

I meet 4 people, although they told me in the Delegation they were 5, a mysterious fifth that I never meet, heard about or got any answer when inquired.

Of course they didn´t knew of any NGO coming from Dominican and assure that the entire Delegation was just 5 persons.

Finally they said that the Delegation did not to have any Plan, Mission, Goal or Strategy towards this WTO Conference Meeting, they just came, and I quote: “to see what was happening in the World and to get updated on the international flows and ideas”

Later I got the information from the Conference Registration that from Dominican 18 persons were in the list to come. How many did come or any names, was not a public information -I was told.

So, for me to see the way that the Norwegian NGO´s work with the OND was very satisfactory, perhaps even this level of work this is not enough. Influence, pressure and more access is still needed to achieve better goals. But, for other countries/NGO´s Networks this level of cooperation is a dream.

Is now interesting to know how this was achieved and how it is maintained. Via Media? Newspapers and TV? Public campaigns, lobbying?

Anyway is nice to see it here in Norway, it will be nicer to know how to implement this or something similar in other countries/societies and also how to improve it here to reach greater levels of cooperation.

By Felipe Díaz

Third and final day of the Conference. Last efforts and usage of the last reserves of energies! Everyone was looking forward to all things the day could offer!

The morning briefing meeting with the OWINFS network is the by-now usual way of starting the day, we prepared the strategy for the day, the stunt actions ideas to focus on and meetings to follow.

Then we went to the Seminars happening in the different buildings, like the Symposium on [NAME] where the seminar on “Market improvement for LDC from the Doha round” was held. This symposium was interesting for all the organizations present thete, it became a great space to meet people, gather information and get interesting details about negotiations that happen or o-the-way.

After we came back to the NGO Center where conferences about the NAMA and “Decent work in the South” were taking place.

Right after we moved back to the Symposium to participate in the seminar “Latin America and the WTO: current and future scenarios”, the main arguments presented there were the role of Latin American countries should be assigning to their bargaining strategy at the Doha Round in the WTO. Which so far, has being somewhat a residual role in the economic and trade policymaking; in this multilateral arena, Latin America has shown relative lack of interest for WTO liberalization proposal. It was argued that this is mostly due to a concrete interest for preferential trade agreements and unordinary commodity prices which sums a much larger list of benefits than the WTO negotiations proposals.

This was an interesting perspective to contrast with the “common” arguments about LDC (Latin American countries included) were the arguments are that WTO proposal are taken like uncontested recipes.

Mari had to leave early In the afternoon, I manage to meet again with the Dominican delegation in the hallways and then the actions for the Closing Ceremony took place.

The day ended with the last OWINFS briefing, very interesting as well, this time especially because a strategy for the work from now on was drafted.

By Felipe Díaz

A lot of movement happening in these buildings, and outside!! It is hard to divide our time between the meetings, seminars, conferences, manifestations and the update of Twitter and the blog.

Today we started the day with a meeting of the NGO´s who are supporting the “WTO turnover: no more crisis” campaign which is the main work of the Global Network Organizations joining the campaign of Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS). The idea is to have a briefing of all done in the previous day and share ideas for this day. Meetings, participations in conferences and seminars and actions (manifestations) were expressed and coordinated. It was really interesting to hear how individual achievements are put in disposition of others to common good and to have the opportunity of join initiatives and support each other. Alliances and blocs are created fast, spontaneously and in a very efficient way or means. Perhaps the “other” Conference should work a bit similar to this one…
There are a lot of things to read, to hear, to absorb, is a continuous process where you need to go deep in some points in order to keep absorbing more.

At 13:00 hours our group of Norwegian NGO´s meet for an internal briefing and lunch together, were the main item was to discuss a proper strategy for the upcoming meeting with the Norwegian Official delegation.

The meeting, rather short allowed us to express our comments and intentions and more important address our requests directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. Who patiently heard everything, but did not move any of his positions. For instance, when asked about considering the claims from the Less Develop Countries (LDC), he simply replied “what claims?”
In fact, this has being one of the main issues in this Ministerial Summit: The Ministers and Ambassadors seems to be afraid of carrying the guilt of be the first one (perhaps only one) raising their voice against the Doha Round Development Negotiations. Surely there are many countries feeling and suffering the burn created by these negotiations, but complaining against them is a political game that the vast majority don´t have to courage to play.
Later in the day we participated in the Seminar “Scenarios for Global Economic Governance» it was an interesting presentation of the financial and economic crisis with its fundamental problems, where the system of governance and its improvement is an alternative response to the actual crisis. By picturing different scenarios for the year 2020 one (especially politicians) can see what could happen if wrong decisions are made.
We ended up the day with the group briefing with the OWINFS network, updating on the issues and meetings held during the day and preparing the strategy for the next day.

For closing the day the group of Norwegian NGO´s had a well deserved dinner together in a local restaurant. Delicious Swiss food! although the prices could always be better. 😛

By Felipe Díaz

The broken chair outside the UN building- Mari is posing!

The first day we headed to the Norwegian delegation office, to meet with the Official Delegation (OD), the agriculture and food minister Lars Peder Brekk and all the Norwegian NGO´s and Civil Society Institutions (CSI).

In this informational meeting the OD shared some of the ideas of their agenda and opened the table for questions from the people present.

One of the main concerns brought up in the beginning of the meeting, was the neglect of civil society participation during WTO working sessions. Aksel Nærstad, from the Development Fund suggested that the sessions should be television transferred to the NGO centre. Brekk agreed and emphasized the importance of transparency.

But it can also make us think of a proposal where each official delegation can agree on letting NGO´s and CSI´s participate, therefore the will of the plenary will allow an open, transparent and more democratic flow of the meetings.

On the field of agriculture and food, Brekk underlined the huge challenges, and promised that he would work on behalf of the Norwegian agricultural sector, although he doubted there would be any progress on that field.

LO expressed deep concern on the issue of decent work and social rights, and how the ILO agenda on this matter should be incorporated into the WTO.

It was a nice and interesting expression of transparency and cooperation. With people of deep knowledge in different issues, making the right and perhaps controversial inquiries, it all became a full exercise where the official and “normal” answers of the OD were demanded.

Our World Is Not for Sale

With that spirit we walk to the Centre International de Conferences Genève (CICG) where the Conference is being held. Strict badge checks, airport-style security procedures and then you are in the main building. But this infrastructure is just for the “real” Conference, the one were only the Official delegations can be inside the auditoriums doors.

Properly identified press and civil society representatives can get close and be in the halls, but not inside the auditoriums.

For us there was a building right in front, where Seminars and Conferences were about to take place. These, and other venues around, are the places to exposes the ideas, policies, messages and debates that keep our institutions running on the pursue of Justice, Fairness, Development and Improvements goals in the Trade issues.

This is one of the greatest challenges, and with the presence of the NGO´s and Civil Society Institutions, we are putting up a concrete fight for it: achieve a transparent and democratic functioning of the WTO.

A lot of activities were going on outside the conference as well, and people from all over the world were protesting against the WTO.

From the program of activities we attend the Conference called “The Rights approach to trade rules”, in short there were presented different aspects on how to incorporate the Human Rights approach or perspective to Trade, with special attention to the right to food, which is an item ratified (made law) by more than 160 countries.

Briefing meeting held by Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINS, NGO network) Aksel from the Development Fund is looking tired!

Written by Felipe Diaz and Mari Haave Sveen

På briefingmøtet med utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støhre i Geneve  gjorde han det klart at norges posisjon i samsvar med mange andres ville være å få avsluttet Doha-runden innen 2010. Støre argumenterer for at det nå er umulig å gå tilbake og åpne hele Doha-runden, noe som vil gjøre at avtalen kommer til å falle helt fra hverandre. Ved å åpne selv enkelte områder, vil det føre til at krav om endring vil komme fra alle kanter, og det vil bli umulig og enes om noen ting igjen.

Støre mener at det er umulig å putte så mange nye ting inn i en avtale fremforhandlet i 2001. Dette betyr at områder som matsikkerhet må diskuteres bredere senere.

Støre er midlertid helt klar på at Norge ikke kommer til å skifte standpunkt på noen av de sakene han ble spurt om. NAMA (Non Agricultural Market Access) var et av disse områdene. Linn fra Attac mente at Norge var gode på områder hvor vi ikke hadde en offensiv politikk, og påpekte at Støre under sin tale i plenumssesjonen i WTO ikke med ett ord nevnte de områdene der Norge faktisk er offensive. Årsaken til dette gikk ikke Støre inn på, men han mente at det slett ikke var noen motsetning mellom å være offensiv og det å ta hensyn til andre. han påpekte at han under møter nå med ledere fra utviklingsland ikke var blitt konfrontert med noe av dette, og at under forhandlinger i WTO som Norge gikk inn i, var det ikke slik at om Norge tok et offensivt standpunkt, så bidro vi til å undertrykke noen andre, eller overkjøre motstandere.

Attac fulgte opp med å si at under Doha-runden var Norge en av pådriverne for å unnta MUL-land (Minst Utviklede Land) fra områder som Norge også er offensive pådrivere på. Støre svarte da at det derfor var så veldig viktig for MUL-landene at Doha-runden ble avsluttet og signert.

Det er allikevel verdt å huske slagordet Not At All Costs. Det er ikke slik at runden burde avsluttes uansett hva som skjer, intensjonen var at Doha skulle være en utviklingsrunde, men på en rekke områder, blant annet SSM (Special Safeguard Mechanisms) og NAMA har forslagene som opprinnelig lå på bordet blitt utvannet, og til tider torpedert.

Det politiske handlingsrommet som opprinnelig lå innenfor disse områdene er til dels fjernet, og forskere fra blant annet South Centre har vist at SSM som tiltak ser bra ut på papiret, men er nesten umulig å implementere i virkeligheten. De strenge reglene for når og hvordan SSM kan iverksettes i utviklingsland, gjør at det som virkemiddel kommer for lite, for sent.På finnes det mange bra papers på hva SSM og NAMA er, og hva avtalene innebærer.

Det er ikke så mye utviklingsrunde igjen av Doha-runden. Derfor er det så viktig å fremheve at avtalen IKKE til enhver pris må signeres, i motsetning til hva Støre virker å ville. 

Spire er i Geneve og følger WTO ministermøte

Skrevet av Mari Haave Sveen

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