Thursday 10th December 2009

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.

On the way to the meeting, which was in high security private offices of the secretariat, they met by chance Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCC. It was a brief but pleasant exchange; Sister Jayanti gave him our BK Statement and a diary.

A young man, Vipul Bhatti, Editor of Corporate Social Responsibility, "The Optimist" ( interviewed Sister Jayanti. He was very enthusiastic about his own experience at COP15 in Copenhagen and was interested in the BK position on climate change. The article is expected to appear sometime next week.

CPO15 and the NGO Forum. (Klimaforum09)

The negotiating parties have been working with their own documents, and the NGOs have been preparing their own Klimaforum09 declaration entitled System Change – not Climate Change: The People's Declaration from Klimaforum09. There have been a few drafts, and many NGOs have been participating in the writing of it. The working draft is projected onto a large screen, and the paragraphs are edited one by one directly. At the moment we are on draft 3. The aim is to have a declaration by consensus to submit to COP15. Interestingly, there is a subtitle in the declaration called "Prevailing patterns of thought."

COP15 has its own daily newspaper, The COP15 Post, and the NGO Forum has its own newspaper called Climate Chronicle: Critical News and Climate Justice Perspective.

Global Peace Initiative of Women organizing the Religious Leaders Meetings sponsored a Special evening Program for invited guests at National Museet – the National Museum of Denmark. The theme was Voices of Hope Responding to the Call of the Earth.

Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, Global Peace Initiative of Women, opened the proceedings, welcomed everyone, and then handed the evening over to Sister Jayanti who moderated the program and did a meditation commentary to complete the evening.

Hon. Maurice Strong Leading Environmentalist, Secretary-General, 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Environment, First Executive Director of UNEP and Secretary-General, 1992 Rio Earth Summit stated that climate change is a survival agenda. The main enemy of capitalism is not communism or socialism but greedy capitalists. Climate change will create conflicts so peace organizations should try to avoid the worst effects of it. Copenhagen will be a commitment to have a legally binding commitment in as little time as possible.

Prof. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate, Founder Greenbelt Movement shared that the Bible is more related to dominion of nature and the environment, but Genesis actually encourages us to be custodians of nature and not exploiters. If other species disappear, so will the human species. We need to remember that there are priceless things to protect. Accountability, transparency, equity, and responsibility are key to the agreement at Copenhagen. We have to have empathy and compassion for the world, especially African countries. Using the voice from the source, we spiritual leaders must influence the negotiators.

Prof. Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector, University, Thailand, said a shared vision is related to collective action. Awareness is not enough for a solution there are three approaches. To just live with despair is pessimistic, and hope without awareness is optimistic; we need to be aware of problems and look for solutions that are realistic. Darwin said that survival is for the species that adapt to change. It is thoughts of greed rooted in our minds that are the problem. Peace is a prerequisite to a solution: peace in the mind, peace with other human beings, and peace of nations.

Swami Veda Bharati, Spiritual Director, Sadhana Mandir Ashram, India, believes that the voice of spirit is clear; if debates were preceded by silence everything would be different. Everywhere the tradition is to consult philosophers, but now we seem to have forgotten this. What changes do we need in our life? If, one person is influenced in one thousand and then that one influences one person in one thousand we can impact the world.

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