NGOs left out in the cold
by Abbie Turiansky -- December 15th, 2009
Civil society being left out of the debate by poor planning.
As we stood out in the cold dark street for four hours, I heard people making calls to apologize for missing meetings and even missing events at which they were supposed to be speaking. So while I was grumbling about my freezing toes, other people were actually missing important meetings and events where they were supposed to be discussing important things. There is a reason why civil society participates in events like this, and the logistical failure at the entrance was serving to exclude NGOs from the debate, albeit inadvertently.
Like climate change, this should have been a predictable problem. Over 45,000 people registered to attend a conference in a building that holds 15,000 people. But it appeared as if we caught the conference organizers completely by surprise. Yesterday people waited for ten hours and didn’t get in. This morning we showed up long before sunrise (though that’s not saying much in Denmark) to register, and gave up after four hours when they moved all non-NGO people out of our line and into a line that was moving.
On the bright side, the Danish military showed up at some point to serve us free coffee.