What happened at the summit

Cuba’s view of COP15 – Linked on our blogs with The Group of 77 at the UN. – Published on Pambazuka News, by Fidel Castro, 2009-12-23.

… In this week’s Pambazuka News, Fidel Castro writes on the experiences of the Cuban delegation at last week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centres on whether human society will survive. These are not dramatic phrases. We must get used to the true facts. Hope is the last thing human beings can relinquish. With truthful arguments, men and women of all ages, especially young people, have waged an exemplary battle at the Summit and taught the world a great lesson.

It is important now that Cuba and the world come to know as much as possible of what happened in Copenhagen. The truth can be stronger than the influenced and often misinformed minds of those holding in their hands the destiny of the world. 

If anything significant was achieved in the Danish capital, it was that the media coverage allowed the world public to watch the political chaos created there and the humiliating treatment accorded to heads of states or governments, ministers and thousands of representatives of social movements and institutions that in hope and expectation travelled to the summit’s venue in Copenhagen. The brutal repression of peaceful protesters by the police was a reminder of the behaviour of the Nazi assault troops that occupied neighbouring Denmark in April 1940.

But no one could have thought that on 18 December 2009, the last day of the summit, this would be suspended by the Danish government – a NATO ally associated with the carnage in Afghanistan – to offer the conference’s plenary hall to President Obama for a meeting where only he and a selected group of guests, 16 in all, would have the exclusive right to speak. Obama’s deceitful, demagogic and ambiguous remarks failed to involve a binding commitment and ignored the Kyoto Framework Convention. He then left the room shortly after listening to a few other speakers. Among those invited to take the floor were the highest industrialised nations, several emerging economies and some of the poorest countries in the world. The leaders and representatives of over 170 countries were only allowed to listen …

… After a long and extremely tense discussion, the position of the ALBA countries and Sudan, as president of the G-77, prevailed that the document was unacceptable to the conference thus it could not be adopted.

In view of the absence of consensus, the conference could only ‘take note’ of the existence of that document representing the position of a group of about 25 countries.

After that decision was made – at 10:30 in the morning Denmark’s time – Bruno, together with other ALBA representatives, had a friendly discussion with the UN secretary to whom they expressed their willingness to continue struggling alongside the United Nations to prevent the terrible consequences of climate change. Their mission completed, our foreign minister and Cuban vice president Esteban Lazo departed to come back home and attend the National Assembly session. A few members of the delegation and the ambassador stayed in Copenhagen to take part in the final procedures. This afternoon they reported the following:

‘… both, those who were involved in the elaboration of the document, and those like the president of the United States who anticipated its adoption by the conference…as they could not disregard the decision to simply “take note” of the alleged ”Copenhagen Agreement”, they tried to introduce a procedure allowing the other COP countries that had not been a part of the shady deal to adhere to it, and make it public, the intention being to pretend such an agreement was legal, something that could precondition the results of the negotiations that should carry on.’

‘Such belated attempt was again firmly opposed by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. These countries warned that a document which had not been adopted by the convention could not be considered legal and that there was not a COP document; therefore, no regulations could be established for its alleged adoption …’

‘This is how the meeting in Copenhagen is coming to an end, without the adoption of the document surreptitiously worked out in the past few days under the clear ideological guidance of the US administration…’

Tomorrow our attention will be focused on the National Assembly. Lazo, Bruno and the other members of the delegation will be arriving at midnight today. On Monday, the minister of foreign affairs will be able to explain in details and with the necessary accuracy the truth of what happened at the summit. (full text).

  • * Fidel Castro is a Cuban politician and former president of the Council of the State of Cuba.
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