Daily Reports from Brahma Kumaris Delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark took place 7th -19th December 2009. It included the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5).
After long lines for the conference registration, Renaud, Arnold, and Patricia went to the Government meeting and NGO Forum while Sister Jayanti, Julia, and Sonja went to the Religious Leaders meeting.
COP15 Government Meetings, where Brahma Kumaris have observer status.
The main government groups seem to want an agreement, however there are differing opinions as to whether it will be successful or not.
Sister Jayanti is one of the 35 religious leaders who have been called together by an organization called the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW).
The theme of the gathering is Addressing Climate Change by Awakening to Oneness. BKWSU, Denmark was thanked, in all the literature and also at the opening plenary on Monday afternoon, for all the help that they have given as a local partner of this event.
Presentation by Sr Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, and Prominent Voice in Interfaith spoke of Judeo-Christian story of creation. There are two versions of the creation story. The first, the masculine domination of the scriptures, has been used to dominate: Come now gentleman – God creates man in His own image – be fruitful and multiply, have dominion over every living thing. You can have it all; it is all for you, it is all here to satisfy your needs.
A Day of Media Interviews!
COP 15 – Bella Center
Sister Jayanti, Sonja, Julia, Patricia, Winnie, and Arnold set off to COP15, the government meeting. This was Sister Jayanti, Sonja and Julia’s first visit to the Bella Center, as they had been involved with the Religious Leaders meeting up until now.
Meetings with UN Secretariat
Sister Jayanti and Renaud left early for the Bella Center for a pre-arranged meeting with Preety Bhandari, Financial and Technical Support, Climate Change Secretariat. The negotiations are basically divided up into five themes. Finance is one of them, which Preety Bhandari heads up. This was a very pleasant meeting; Preety was very open and listened with attention to our spiritual perspective.
Sister Jayanti departed from Copenhagen after breakfast, and there were many fond farewells. It had been such a special time for all, spending 10 days together, and everyone was so appreciative of Sister Jayanti’s presence.
Because of the planned demonstrations to enter the Bella Center by force, our delegation decided not to go the Bella Center today, but instead to focus on our events and stand at the Klimaform.
We woke up on Thursday to a snow covered Copenhagen.
Julia and Piero set off early in the hopes of getting into the Bella Center, where over 100 Heads of State would be meeting that day. Battling freezing cold winds, they arrived with about 20 others only to find that the numbers of NGOs allowed to enter the Bella Center had been reduced from 1,000 to 300, and that if you were not on a special list –with a green access card – you were not going to get in!
The Last Word
This is the final report from the BK COP15 delegation and we just want to mention a couple of additional things:
- Today Viggo, one of the BKs from another part of Denmark was on the way to work and was listening to the Radio and heard Sonja’s interview on Radio Denmark.
- Anna Mogensen from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the BK center today. She has a focus on youth and children and they wanted their voices to be heard. She was interested in our visions and principles for their future work in Climate Change. She had seen our stand at the Bella Center, and had collected the material but had never seen anyone – Sonja explained this was because for the last two days we had not been able to get into the Bella Center due to the restrictions on the numbers of NGOs allowed in! Anna is coming to interview Sonja at the Center on Tuesday.
- Piero gave a phone interview with Lifegate Radio which broadcasts in Milano and Rome about what a spiritual organization like the Brahma Kumaris has to do with COP15. It was a chance let people know the importance of a change in consciousness, starting with thought, to bring a change in the environment.