[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 10, 2003Are you sitting comfortably? If you get a queasy feeling upon entering the main hall at the World Summit, it might not just be because of the childish drawings projected onto the wobbly screen at the front. The seating plan requires a degree in Kremlinology to negotiate.
To settle most arguments, the seating plan is mainly based on the schoolroom system of alphabetical order (although presumably delegates will not be allowed to move desks to be near their friends in case they distract one another). This is a tremendous boon for states listed between Bahrain and Burkina Faso, who get to sit in the middle of the front row, but not such wonderful news for Singapore and Zimbabwe, who have to sit at the far extremes of the hall in seats that are the equivalent of being sat next to the lavatory in a restaurant.
A worse snub goes to Palestine, which as a troublemaker has to sit in the back row with all the dunces like the British Virgin Islands and the Military Order of Malta (which inexplicably gets its own seat in addition to the Maltese government's place between Mali and the Marshall Islands). It should not feel lonely, however. The row also contains an astonishing 58 supranational agencies, which we'll get to in a little bit...
Daily Summit would like to extend a warm welcome to East Timor's only representative, who asked its reporter to take a photo of him at his seat.