It was an extremely disappointing day at the UN Conference.  Renee and I arrived on Sunday and made our way to the Bella Center around 8 am on Monday morning.  There was a very long line because a lot of new delegates had arrived over the weekend and there was no available check in most of Saturday and all of Sunday.  Although the line was long, I was very excited to finally be at the conference.  The line moved slowly but consistently until about 2:30 pm.  The line did not move after that and we were told at 5:00 pm that they would not be accepting any more delegates for the day.  This came after we had waited in line for nine hours without access to food, water, or a bathroom for the last eight hours.  Needless to say, it was extremely humiliating.  I have never been treated like that.  The mass of people waiting was mostly supportive of the climate change strategy the UN is trying to develop and it does not make since that we were treated that way.

I believe there was a major communication break down between the UN and the crowd of delegates waiting to check in. We were addressed by the UN three times in nine hours and they also circulated a paper document once.  The frustrating aspect was the lack of definitive answers.  From what I have heard, there was a problem with their computer system.  I continued to wait in line because I still hoped I had a chance to get registered before registration closed at 6:00pm.  It was a huge let down to be told that I would not be able to register after waiting in the cold for nine hours. I would like to thank our professors, fellow students, and one of the guards for trying to get us out of the crowd and inside.

Although it was hard to see anything positive at the time, the dedication of the massive number of people standing in line was extremely reassuring.  To be part of such a large group of people standing in line in those conditions really proved to me that a lot of people care about climate change and are committed to making a difference.  I will be getting up early tomorrow morning and getting in line to give it another chance. Wish me luck.

-Samantha LaChance

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One Response

  1. […] to more people.  There was controversy about the procedure for getting people in on Monday.  (As Sam and Renee wrote about).  On Tuesday security started to require secondary credentials for entrance […]

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