The first day of negotiations for the Paris Agreement are almost at an end, just a few more hours to go. I am in Bonn, Germany. The sun is shining, its 30 degrees and the World Conference Centre is swanky. Things are going smoothly, apart from the fact that I am the only real New Zealander here from civil society.
In the UN system each member state in the voting process counts as one. For example, China, Saudi Arabia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Fiji and New Zealand all have one vote each.
This singular vote is given no matter how large or small the territory or population is, no matter how high or low GDP or poverty levels are, no matter how much each member state has a stake in the negotiations. This values sovereignty as the key identifier of power.
"Loss and damage is the most fragile sensitive political issue”
Contextualizing: Loss and damage has been high on the ageda point this COP. However, its very contentious as many of the "rich" countries do not want to contribute financially and have issues with compensation in regards to the need to find blame before compensation can be given.
So in the outrageously busy schedules that a delegate of COP19 has the days turn into a blur. However, a short and snappy quote, tends to jog the memory and get straight to the point. Each day (hopefully) i'll gather the best of them. Contextualize them the best I can. =)
After reflecting on the Training Weekend and the Stakeholders meeting in Auckland that the delegation attended before leaving NZ, I have come to the conclusion that I have an issue with Democracy, or perhaps its better to say that I have an issue with the lack of democracy especially in democratic countries.