Saturday, 26 November 2011

COP-17 - World leaders stay home, but Hollywood celebs jet into Durban

"Bono is an active member of Greenpeace and drives a car which runs on ethanol"

Most world leaders have decided to scrap the Durban COP-17, but the organisers can count on a host of celebrities, who never want to miss out on a genuine beach party.

The usual host of Hollywood "activists", led by Angelina Jolie, U2´s Bono and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others, are are expected to jet in to provide the glitz and glamour for the gathering. They will be joined by the likes of Al Gore and Richard Branson, who never miss an opportunity to advance their business interests at this kind of celebrity gatherings. And, of course, "the terminator", Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monaco´s operatta prince Albert will be there, too.

The Times Live added this on Sunday:

Umhlanga's Oyster Box Hotel - the new playground of the international jet set - will again play host to Monaco's Prince Albert and his South African wife, Charlene Wittstock, and, it is whispered, Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio .
The two stars are expected to arrive in the city next Sunday. It is understood "discreet" reservations were made for them.
The Monaco royals threw a lavish cocktail bash at the hotel in July to celebrate their wedding.
Wittstock has apparently reserved the Buthelezi suite, which is usually priced at between R8630 and R11890 a night. Billionaire businessman Richard Branson has apparently booked into the presidential suite, at R50000 a night.
The city's other top hotels - the Beverly Hills and Hilton - are the likely venues for former US vice-president Al Gore, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a number of heads of state attending the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17), which will run from tomorrow to December 9.

But there is bad news for ordinary South Africans:

"For those hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite celebrity, don’t count on it. Word has it that they’re here strictly for business purposes".


Many of the more than  20.000 COP 17 climate tourists delegates are certainly planning to enjoy the beach parties and nightlife on offer. Hopefully somebody has informed them about this, less pleasant side of life in Durban :

 Durban, and our province of KwaZulu-Natal, has the world's highest levels of HIV. With less than one percent of the global population, South Africa has 10 percent of its HIV infections, and our province has 10 times more HIV than anywhere else in the country
And this:
Harassment by police and humiliation at clinics mean just 5 percent of sex workers are getting health care.

This is according to research by the Sex Worker Education Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), which says up to 60 percent of sex workers nationwide were HIV-positive and nearly 20 percent of all new infections were related to the industry through clients, partners, abuse and rape, according to its research.

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