Tuesday, December 11, 2012

THE LONGEST LAST NIGHT (or an autopsy of a dead toe nail, blistered feet, and busted shoe)

It's almost a kilometer from the shuttle drop-off to the security clearing area to G77/China's Plenary Room 7.1 and we have to walk the whole stretch at least twice a day plus the daily shuffles from one numbered room to another and to the East or West restaurants for survival nourishment.

By the third day, the numbing pain crept from the ankles to the humerus.

By the fourth day, the side seams of my under-a-year-old right shoe split.

I changed to sneakers as the informal negotiations became frequent and drawn-out with that on the work program on agriculture ending in a stalemate after at least 24 hours of talks and that on adaptation in a disappointing outcome after logging at least 16 hours.

We however won big in the battle for addressing loss and damage after several lengthy discussions with one lasting 16 straight hours and the outcome decided in a late night ministerial-level consultation.

We won a little on the national adaptation plans which also logged an estimated 24 hours, and lesser on the adaptation committee report which compiled the least time with 6 hours at the most.

In between were coordination meetings, the late lunches and dinners, the snatches of cat naps, the 45-minute shuttle bus rides, and the reports written and submitted.

Then an unexpected lull.

Before the anticipated drama of a closing plenary that unfolded into 48 hours of informal ministerial stock takings, suspension of sessions, cancellation of schedules, and last-minute wrangling by ministers and negotiatiors in some secret rooms.

It was one of my longest last nights ever.

And I again failed on my promise to finish a COP in my lifetime (after having to leave Cancun in 2010 in the middle of the plenary, and Durban in 2011 while the infamous Indaba is still on the second of its 3-day marathon).

The black-as-death nail on my little toe and the punctured blister on the other little toe were only noticed while dressing for my flight out.

It was death and injury by walking where, as expected, the rich countries, the rich-countries-disguised-as-poor, the almost-rich-countries, the something-in-between, the truly-poor-countries, and the dirt-poor-countries pummeled each other on every word, punctuation, and brackets.

We might have won just 55% of what we want but we were the stars of Doha...  

PHOTOS EXPLAINED (top to bottom): [1] one of the huddles of a fractious G77/China during the negotiations for agriculture; [2] the last stab for a compromise language for adaptation; [3] the headline grabbing Yeb Sano meeting the press; and [4] an early morning pose from the Philippine negotiators on the Kyoto Protocol, shared vision and legal form, adaptation and agriculture, and technology transfer. 

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