This week, Egypt’s first fair democratic presidential elections started in Egypt as one of the fruits of the January 25th youth-driven Egyptian revolution. This is the Egyptian peoples’ first real democratic presidential election in 7000 years.
Meanwhile, in Bonn, things are notably less exciting. Countries weren’t voting for the first time in 7000 years. They weren’t picking a new leader. I’ve been focused on a few small tasks before them, which they’ve had two weeks to accomplish – negotiators were supposed to 1) pick a chairperson for the Ad-hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP), and 2) adopt an agenda.
We waited, and waited, and waited, and after 10 days of fights one who is going to Co-chair the ADP. Country’s negotiators finally decided that they couldn’t decide by consensus. Perhaps taking a cue from the inspiring actions in my home country, negotiators decided that chairman and Co-chair of the ADP will be elected…! The question is: why did it take 10 days to decide how do decide? It seems like a very simple procedure to select any representative, but here in the UN after 10 days of talks, in contrast to events in Egypt, the UN seems like the most bureaucratic organization on planet earth.
The mood inside the talks changed after negotiators agreed to decide this chair decision by vote. Even though this issue was supposed to be dealt with at the beginning of this process (we’re 10 days in) – people felt some positive progress. So today, we eagerly awaited the vote so we could move on to more substantive business. But when I went to information disk to see the daily program to know when ADP meeting and vote will take place, I found ‘’ to be announced’’ instead of a scheduled time!!!!
I was like ‘’Ok’’ I will check the screen every 30 minutes to see the announcement. I went to other negotiating track meetings, I went to some awesome side events, and I went to youth-organized actions… but still no announcement. Even at 6 PM, when the program should end, nothing showed up.
What a disappointment. Still, after reading the Egyptian news, I was so inspired by the people of my country who didn’t gave up and fought until they reached their goal, I never gave up. Finally, late Thursday evening, I heard good news about ADP. Negotiators actually agreed on some agenda items! They will meet tomorrow (which is the last day of this session in Bonn) to adopt the Agenda and elect the chair and the co-chair. After the slow pace this week, I don’t know if negotiators can fit this all in one day.
But as an Egyptian, I really have faith that something positive will happen tomorrow. So walk like an Egyptian and be strong and u will reach your goal sooner or later.
Photo Credits: www.iisd.ca
About the authorMostafa Medhat (مصطفى مدحت)
Mostafa Medhat is a young environmental activist and campaigner from Alexandria, Egypt. His aim is to create a strong and educated generation of leaders for a sustainable present and future that would make the world a better place. He goes by the motto ‘’ aspire inspire before he expires