Saturday, 17 September 2011

The EU travelling circus heading for the Big Apple

The world is waiting for EU President van Rompuy´s words of wisdom in this hall

The EU travelling circus is all set to go for its annual appearance at the United Nations General Assembly "ministerial" week in New York. This year´s show promises to be the biggest ever in the Big Apple. The official EU press release explains why:

"This will be the first General Debate since the adoption of the historic resolution 65/276 in May, under which the EU statement in the General Debate will be delivered for the first time by the President of the European Council."

President Herman van Rompuy himself gave this statement before boarding the EU private jet to New York:

"It is a great honour for me to be the first EU representative to address the gathering of world leaders at the UN. I am keen to promote at the UN General Assembly the EU's position on climate change, sustainable development, the Arab Spring and the Middle East peace process and global interdependence."

The world is now eagerly waiting for the poet president´s words of wisdom (and maybe a new UN haiku?). And, no doubt, the champagne bottles at the EU delegation in New York are already in the fridge waiting for the celebration on the great day.

The official press release gives us an idea of the other eurocrats joining van Rompuy in New York, although it does not mention the tens, if not hundreds of other, minor EU representatives in attendance:

In addition to President Van Rompuy’s presence during the so-called ministerial week, the EU will be represented by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton, as well as by Commissioners Piebalgs, Dalli, Georgieva and Hedegaard.

All these people, staying in five star hotels, will attend hundreds of official and inofficial meetings, lunches, dinners and cocktail parties, most of which - like the ones listed below -are totally meaningless, and a waste of taxpayers´ money:
  • the Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change, sponsored by President Zuma of South Africa and President Calderón of Mexico, where Heads of State and Government will discuss the preparation for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Durban in November this year
  • the Executive Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, where President Barroso will present the EU's leading work on resource efficiency and the green economy in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
  • a series of high-level meetings in connection with the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Many of the meetings will help to prepare the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year
  • a meeting of the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, which has been mandated to formulate a global blueprint for sustainable growth and low-carbon prosperity ahead of the 'Rio +20' UN Conference on Sustainable Development
  • a meeting of the Troika of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change, hosted by former Irish President Mary Robinson
  • a panel discussion on climate change at the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Summit


Shouldn´t Greenpeace and other climate change fundamenalists be worried about the huge carbon footprint of all these bureaucrats jetting to New York?

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