Saturday, December 5, 2009

CCF - From Becca - Part 4

Friday, our last day, brought on floods of tears and photos, though the work continued. Much to our (collective) chagrin, the Irish delegation had to leave at lunch, meaning they would be absent when their handiwork (the visual presentation, done by Adam, and the declaration, worked on by Fergal) was presented. I was coerced by Graem from the UK to help finish the visual presentation, which needed some last minute tinkering. The COP Message Group shared their final drafts with the delegates to near unanimous approval.

As Cressie, Ragnar, Anand, and I were finalizing last minute details surrounding the upcoming Q & A session, we were informed that the Chinese negotiator had pulled out (!!!). This caused some considerable fury, since we had developed some pointed (yet polite) questions for the Chinese negotiator, and it meant we had to rework our schedule. Luckily, Dominic stepped in as a presenter from Haiti, and we were also able to include in our session Josh from AVAAZ (an organization that has worked closely with world leaders leading up the COP15). Anand and I did some rehashing and cobbled together a coherent presentation only to learn that the representative from the Maldives was running very late. We proceeded with the session, which was rocky yet informative. The Maldives negotiator showed up with 20 minutes left, and answered the rest of the questions we had created, though none of his answers were particularly unexpected or controversial.

Directly after the Q & A session, we all moved downstairs for the closing ceremonies with several special speakers including  Connie Hedegaard, president of the COP15.  After an inspirational speech by the COP Message group, a copy of the declaration signed by all delegates was presented to Ms. Hedegaard. Surrounded by media of all sorts, we then commenced with the singing of the anthem of the CCF, “It’s My World” by Danish teen group Alien Beat Club. A video of the song can be found on YouTube by searching “It’s My World”. We then returned to the hostel to get ready for dinner and a party afterwards.
Dinner was an enjoyable affair, with a variety of cultural presentations and a variety of desserts. After dinner we migrated downstairs to the main hall for the last time for closing ceremonies, where certificates were presented to each delegate. We returned upstairs to find the dinner hall transformed into a flashing, pulsing dance floor. We all partied together for the last time and tried to enjoy ourselves without thinking about the upcoming departures. The dancing continued to an hour that will not be mentioned, when people returned to the hostel for final goodbyes.

The conference, though it had a few sticking points, was fantastic overall. I couldn’t believe the wealth of ideas and the heated debates that resulted from such a concentration of bright and devoted people. Useful contacts were forged and close friendships made, and we’ve all promised to stay in touch. I’m going to miss everyone, but I enjoyed the past week immensely, and I’m intending to keep up with everyone and help in their campaigns whenever possible. You didn’t think we’d stop now did you?

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