On The Outside Looking In
18 May 2012
Let us share with you our confusion. We are very happy to hear your heart-warming reports of the added value that we as civil society bring to this process. However, we are slightly discouraged by the fact that we are often not allowed in the rooms where the real negotiations are taking place.
The rules on observer participation promote that all negotiating sessions are open to observers in both contact groups and informals. The spirit of the SBI discussions over the past years led us to believe that we might expect to enter the rooms. When the doors are closed to us, we call on all parties in the room to systematically ask their colleagues whether there is a compelling reason preventing the holding of a transparent session.
The graph below demonstrates the stark reality NGOs faced last just June. Despite the SBI encouraging enhanced participation, civil society spent a significant amount of time wandering aimlessly through the Maritim corridors, engaging in more conversations with the ghosts of classical musicians its room are named for than with negotiators. (Though ECO is quick to note that Listz's views on technology transfer are particularly nuanced.)
You can trust us, we are currently MRVing the compliance of parties' commitment to “openness, transparency and inclusiveness”. Because, really, there is only so much one can observe from the corridors.