Wednesday, May 9, 2012

U.N. Fails to Finalise Rio+20 Plan on Sustainable Future (Plus a Special Bonus Journalism feature)

This is going to be a clusterfarge.
From Reuters:
After two weeks of closed door negotiations, a U.N. preparatory committee (PrepCom) has failed to reach consensus on a global plan of action, titled "The Future We Want," to be adopted by a summit meeting of world leaders mid-June in Brazil.
The negotiators, comprising representatives of all 193 member states, proclaimed limited success, including reducing the size of the action plan - formally called the "outcome document" - from nearly 200 to less than 100 pages.

The document, called the "zero draft", originally ran to more than 6,000 pages of submissions by member states, international organisations and civil society groups.

Still, after protracted negotiations ending last Friday, Ambassador Kim Sook of South Korea, one of the co-chairs of the PrepCom, said delegates had expressed "disappointment and frustration at the lack of progress" on reaching agreement on a plan aimed at a greener economy and a sustainable future.
In an effort to break the deadlock, the PrepCom will give another shot at the zero draft when it holds an unscheduled five-day session beginning May 29.

This will be a last ditch attempt to finalise the draft action plan, which has to be ready for approval by world leaders arriving in Rio de Janeiro for the three-day summit, beginning Jun. 20....MORE
Throw in the G-8 meeting and the NATO shindig in Chicago and the next five weeks are going to be full of fun. Here are some guidelines for those who have to write about the gabfests:

Attention Journalists: "How to write about pointless international organisations"
The Financial Times' Alan Beattie wrote this bit of brilliance in July 2008 for the G8 meeting. His friend Gideon Rachman duly posted it on his FT Rachmanblog
By reporters everywhere

An ineffectual international organisation yesterday issued a stark warning about a situation it has absolutely no power to change, the latest in a series of self-serving interventions by toothless intergovernmental bodies.

“We are seriously concerned about this most serious outbreak of seriousness,” said the head of the institution, either a former minister from a developing country or a mid-level European or American bureaucrat. “This is a wake-up call to the world. They must take on board the vital message that my organisation exists.”

The director of the body, based in one of New York, Washington or an agreeable Western European city, was speaking at its annual conference, at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently about the most fashionable issue of the day. The organisation has sought to justify its almost completely fruitless existence by joining its many fellow talking-shops in highlighting whatever crisis has recently gained most coverage in the global media.

“Governments around the world must come together to combat whatever this year’s worrying situation has turned out to be,” the director said. “It is not yet time to panic, but if it goes on much further without my institution gaining some credit for sounding off on the issue, we will be justified in labelling it a crisis.”...MORE at Mr. Rachman's blog.