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Copenhagen blog 7: Where are the Pacific Islands?
Kate Blagojevic, used to be press officer, writes from Copenhagen
There is outrage in Copenhagen over a lot of different issues that include tar sands; climate finance; the World Bank; coal; nuclear; carbon trading and the very imminent plight of the small island states. There are of course a lot of sensitivities, politics and high feeling amongst the thousands of people from all over the world who have recently descended on this small city for an intense two weeks of negotiations.
The Danish organisers have committed several faux pas already of course, with the leaked draft text that caused uproar and upset. But it appears that even in an attempt to decorate this vast, maze like conference centre, more international anger has been sparked.
On the giant inflatable globe in the middle of the centre, the small island states of the Cook Islands and Pacific Islands are nowhere to be seen. To be clear this is not a futuristic scenario that the globe is supposed to be highlighting. More embarrassingly, it appears that they have been forgotten. In an international meeting, to forget to include these islands which are imminently threatened by sea level rises is causing a diplomatic problem that will not be easily solved.
Delegates and civil society representing these small islands are putting stickers on the globe to remind everyone where they are, for the time being at least. In terms of the impact on the negotiations, it may seem inconsequential but after the 'Danish Draft', the omission of these islands-in peril is another in the litany of complaints that developing countries can add to their growing list.