Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Day 4: High-Level Segment
Yesterday, officials from the UNFCCC decided to reduce access to the Bella Center where the Climate Change summit is ongoing for reasons known to them only. This time round, only 7000 observers will be allowed in the building.
Over 45,000 people have applied to attend the conference, three times more than its capacity. An overwhelming number of those who applied arrived on Monday, causing congestion in the area outside the UN venue, which is under the control of the Danish police, and also long delays inside the UN area of control at accreditation counters. The UN accredited a total of around 3,500 new delegates today.
This morning, it was hell for all those who haven’t registered for the summit since it started. Thousands of media, NGO representatives and party delegates have to wait for hours to enter the conference venue. The metro station called “Bella Center” was close down due to the amount of people gathered around the place, therefore making it inconvenient for commuters to alight at and before the Bella Center Station.
I had it real tough yesterday trying to get my accreditation processed. I got to Bella Center at exactly 0550am CET and I happened to be the No.7 in the queue. Gradually, people started coming and the queue also got bigger and bigger. The temperature at that was -1°C and I was actually clad in my warm clothes bought from Kantamanto as usual.
Access to the Bella Center begins from 0800am CET but it was opened at about 0825am CET. Everyone including me was very pissed but we have no choice than to accept whatever comes our way.
Slowly, the crowd moved and it got to my turn at the UN Desk to have my accreditation processed. Guess, what happened here? I know, what you are thinking about now. Yes, just that. My accreditation couldn’t be located in the system… How on earth? Grrrrr…!!!
The most annoying aspect of this was; the UN Agent behind the desk was very rude and not nice to me.
I moved away and decided to seek assistance at the “HELPDESK” designated area. This lady was much nicer and very calm with me. She requested for my passport and my accreditation letter which I gave her. She checked the database and didn’t find my name but said, she’s going inside the main office to cross check. Luck was on my side this time because she came back with a letter for me and a form to fill which I hurriedly did.
This was where, LUCK shone on me. My card was labeled PRESS; meaning I was out of the NGO’s and Observers who wouldn’t make it to the Bella Center from today till the end of the summit because of the presence of the High Profile delegates.
I’m currently at the Bella Center where the High-level Segment attended by heads of States and heads of Government just finished with H.E. Mr. Lars Løkke Rasmussen -Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, Mr. BAN Ki-moon - Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Ms. Connie Hedegaard [COP15 / CMP5 President], Mr. Yvo de Boer - UNFCCC Executive Secretary, HRH the Prince of Wales & Dr. Wangari Maathai - 2004 Peace Nobel Prize Laureate from Kenya.