Whereas we still see a major focus on specific wordings in the text draft and the negotiations are still moving slow, we do – as the day is soon coming to an end – see some improvement from yesterday. The state delegates participating in the different negotiations do now show some signs of speeding somewhat up their glacial pace. It may have something to do with overcoming some of the logistic problems of yesterday, for example the lack of internet connections in several negotiation rooms.

We have mainly been following the IFSD Splinter Group negotiations today. As yesterday, not much progress has been done, but at least now the problem is that people don’t really agree, as opposed to yesterday where people just didn’t say anything.

G-77/China delegates during the IFSD discussions. Photo: iisd

The negotiatiors has been more more willing to show their strength today, but although they get stuck quite often (as the case often is between G77 and other parties), there is also sometimes signs of flexibility.

We have now finally succeeded in getting into the agriculture negotiations. Agriculture is one of Spire’s main priorities, and we are especially concerned about the right to food, fair food trading systems and agriculture for development and environment. The agriculture splinter group negotiations have a far lighter feel about it than the IFSD. It may have something to do with the fact that it is a witty american being the Chair, but it also may be that the room is smaller and more informal. Either way, there is a more optimistic feel in the discussions here, and we do see that they move forward in the text. Norway and the US are most visible in the discussions. There has now been a long discussion about the right to food. That, however, did not seem to be resolved. We will try to work with MG of farmers on the agriculture points.

We are excited about what will happen tomorrow – will the negotiations speed up when the delegates feel the press of time, or will the ambitions be kept low and the negatiations keep on going until the 20th? Either way, we will let you know.

Posing with the UN flag

By the way, for more information on what happened yesterday, read the IISD earth bulletin.

Best regards,

– Mari Gjengedal

Yesterday was the first day of the last round of negotiations before the high level meeting starts the 20th. The negotiations has begun, but was incredibly slow. It is several reasons for the slow pace of the negotiations, logistical problems has been a pain in the ass for us and for the negotiators. Access to internet is crucial in the meetings as the delegates has to be able to look up references and keep in contact with other people in their delegation if something is unclear, and the lack of proper internet connection did put a halt to the first meetings of the day. In addition to this meetings has been cancelled in the last minute or delayed which is confusing for all especially for us norwegians who are used to everything being on time, and not on brazilian time!

The G77 and EU discussing while others are waiting patiently…

We have been following the group working on institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD) when the group overcame the logistical problems and finally could get to work, not much happened then either. At one point the representative for EU and for the G77 had to stop the meeting to have a private talk while the others just sat there staring out into the air for 15 minutes. One might think that it is a good thing that they are thorough but the problem seems to be that some states are too concerned about the particular wording rather than the larger structures of the text.

On tuesday, the last day of the Youth Blast, mr Zha Zukang the general secretary for the Rio+20 came to speak to the youth. He was as worried as us about the slowness of the previous negotiations and told us that we should not let the negotiators out of the building if they could not finish in time. If things continue like they have today we might have to take mr Zha’s words seriously and barricade the doors!

We are still working with the Major group for children and youth (MGCY) task force on governance, which is very constructive. There are a so many experienced and clever youth in the group and it is so inspiring to work with these people. Right now we are working on convincing the G77 to go with the proposal for paragraph 80 concerning the high commissioner for future generations. It is really challenging to influence a group consisting of so many different countries…
Today we are hoping that the negotiations concerning agriculture and food security, which were supposed to be yesterday but were suddenly cancelled, will take place. So far we have only been focusing on working on the high commissioner so its about time that we start thinking about agriculture which is also a crucial point in Spires positions.

Just in case someone haven’t read our positions you can find them here.  


We had a long day yesterday but it was perfectly rounded up with a show with some nice and very danceable brazilian music and free wine! We are now ready for a new day hopefully with more productive negotiations than yesterday and some real ambition!

– Siv Maren Sandnæs (Spire´s representative in Rio)