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[News and Views]

September 13, 2002

Summit photos are now online (click here).

Your correspondent only used a camera when out and about, so you'll have to get your pictures of Sandton Convention Centre elsewhere. You will find shots from Alexandra, Soweto, and various demonstrations though...

David Steven | 04:36 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


"The only reason why there is a quarrel over land that belongs to Zimbabweans is Tony Blair," writes Zimbabwean paper, The Herald. "We must recognize that in Blair we are dealing with a determined and cunning racist."

This and other reaction to the summit and land reform issues from BBC monitoring...

David Steven | 03:33 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Attracting readers by sending them away - why site traffic multiplies in proportion to outbound links...

David Steven | 10:37 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |

September 12, 2002

Bloodsuckers of the world - missed this cartoon from a few weeks ago...

David Steven | 08:13 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


There's still disagreement about what was agreed at the summit on corporate responsibility, with Business Action on Sustainable Development confidently reporting that "development" of intergovernmental agreements only refers to "existing agreements and is not a call for a new international regime."

BASD relies on an "'interpretative statement," which, as Daily Summit understands it, does not officially exist (see here for background).

The Americans did refer to this statement in their final remarks to their summit - but only succeeded in expressing their reservations, not diluting the impact of the final summit text...

David Steven | 06:58 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Live sound from the demonstration police fired on is now available as a more modestly sized MP3 file (320kb), though - if you have the bandwidth - the wav file is much better quality. Read the report from the other demo here.

By the way, the other speaker on this file is the Sierra Club's Michael Dorsey...

David Steven | 05:01 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


"Colin Powell will be booed at an international conference for criticizing Mugabe, who’s starving his people," writes James Lilek on 11 September 2002 in a message to himself on 11 September 2001.

"Trust me: 9/11 will drive the collectivists, the fascists, the Luddites, the whole cotillion of idiotarians into a big soggy box, and from this box a great and ineffectual wail shall sound every day. It will dissuade the US not a whit. Great clarity will come from 9/11, and those who persist in seeing the US as the globe’s greatest malefactor will rant themselves into corners."

David Steven | 01:10 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The EU was the only progressive voice at the summit, according to EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström...

David Steven | 12:48 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Ann Eveleth, who was arrested way back at the beginning of the summit (see here and here), is now free and fighting to be allowed to stay in South Africa...

David Steven | 12:43 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |

September 11, 2002

Here you'll find a list of equipment protestors are advised to carry when disrupting a WTO meeting in Australia in November (eggs, helmets, baseball bats etc).

Scroll down to the bottom for a debate on whether marbles should be used to bring down police horses ("as soon as you start attacking the horses or bringing them down, your messages go out the window" versus "horse's are animals of servitude and in the case of police, the police are the masters and the horse's are the servants. If they get hurt it's a part of life, it time we accepted this").

Via Tim Blair.

David Steven | 02:35 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


It's a huge file, but if you're interested, we've just posted a sound file (wav, 2.5 meg) from the summit demonstration that police fired on...

David Steven | 12:34 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The Landless People's Movement had a successful summit...

David Steven | 11:03 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Prices are being reduced in Joburg now the summit is over, according to this report, while your correspondent noticed the city's hawkers pouring back onto the streets within hours of the final session (see this article for the hawker's campaign to win freedom to trade).

David Steven | 11:01 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The summit failed and the US is to blame, according to TotalCatholic.com...

David Steven | 10:53 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |

September 10, 2002

In the news the UN is to block future Summits. Summit condemned for weasel words. Mbeki to lead delegation to UN. Japanese delegation criticised for being too big. Malaysia offers a model for poverty eradication. An expensive trip to nowhere? A tale of three women. Calibre of delegates questioned. Editors praise summit organisers. Taiwan NGOs say Summit is a good starting point.

Mick Fealty | 03:27 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Is the New Statesman's cynicism "corrosive"? Read today's updated post on water and sanitation, and make your own mind up...

David Steven | 02:27 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The summit is even worse for the world than the United States, according to New Statesman readers.

While 12% think "US power" makes the world a "safer place," only 8% think the summit will make it a "better place," according to this ongoing poll.

David Steven | 12:50 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


"Just as human ingenuity seems ready to cross previously unthinkable boundaries – changing the nature of our own and other species, for example," argues the New Statesman, "saving the planet or ensuring minimum living standards for all its inhabitants seem beyond us."

The "profound" decline of confidence in government means that there is little confidence government can achieve agreed targets. 140,000 people must be connected to a safe water supply and 240,000 to adequate sanitation every day, if the summit is to halve those without access to these services by 2015.

"Where is the money and organisation to come from to achieve such an ambition?" it asks. The private sector may be part of the answer, "but the planet is surely doomed if we always have to wait for propitious business conditions before we can save it."

Update: Daily Summit has found some slightly different figures in the WHO/UNICEF Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report. It suggests that an additional 107 million people per year, or 292,000 per day, will need to be connected to safe water and 145 million people each year, or 397,000 per day provided with sanitation if the target is to be achieved.

So even worse than the New Statesman implies?

Well, maybe not. The report puts these figures into historical context. The rate achieved in the 1990s, it says, was just over 80 million per year for water and 75 million for sanitation. So an acceleration is needed, but not the huge (i.e. unfeasible) one the New Statesman implies.

Daily Summit wonders whether the New Statesman was playing fair, by providing raw figures with no comparisons. And is this an example of the "corrosive" cynicism that John Prescott was complaining about a few pages further into the magazine?

David Steven | 12:35 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


"If we underestimate what we have achieved," writes John Prescott, UK Deputy Prime Minister, "then criticism becomes corrosive rather than constructive."

Mr Prescott accuses some NGOs of sniping from the sidelines (he has Friends of the Earth in his sights). Change simply won’t happen, he argues, if governments have to fight cynical opposition as well as vested interests.

David Steven | 12:22 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Yesterday, we heard of a foiled bomb attack in Joburg (see here).

Today, news reaches the Daily Summit of an attack on a church in Trento, Italy, last week by a drunk South African unhappy at the lack of progress at the summit, and opposed to President Bush, the war on Iraq and globalisation.

A semi-naked Neal Donaldson, who is 40 years old, stormed St Peter’s Church, scattering tourists and worshippers. During a stand-off with police, Mr Donaldson requested and was given beer. His third drink was spiked with sedatives, allowing him to be arrested.

Apparently, Mr Donaldson is now a hero to local Italians opposed to globalisation…

David Steven | 11:23 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |

September 09, 2002

US delegate speaking to Indian delegate: "We're opposed to all targets except Iraq."

From a Private Eye cartoon on the summit.

David Steven | 11:19 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Bonner Cohen, writing in Earth Times, believes that Colin Powell bought "a new vision of sustainable development" to the summit...

David Steven | 11:14 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Also in the New Scientist, Fred Pearce publishes results of his investigation of 172 Type 2 partnership project proposals.

"Only a handful even mention community groups in developing countries as partners," he writes. In addition "fewer than a dozen are directed at chnaging consumption patterns in rich countries, which the summit supposedly regards as just as important to the planet's future as action in the poor world."

He also notes that no framework has been agreed for UN oversight of partnership proposals and that the UN is prepared only to accept scrutiny from Congress for any partnerships it is involved in.

David Steven | 10:53 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The New Scientist gives a downbeat assessment of the summit. The major success, it believes (not online yet), was the excision of text giving the WTO the final say over multilateral environment agreements.

"This vote," it says excitedly, "could just be the start of a fight-back against the blind faith in free trade that has disfigured our world over the past decade, while giving little to the poor."

It calls for "a tough new body - let's call it the World Environment Organisation" that could "fine countries or companies that wreck rainforests, send noxious clouds across borders or renege on Kyoto commitments."

This is not a new suggestion, of course...

David Steven | 10:41 AM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |

September 08, 2002

One final question for today. We were warned that the world would almost certainly end if UK environment minister, Michael Meacher, did not attend the summit. (Oxfam described him as the David Beckham of the British governmental team.)

So what difference did Mr Meacher make once he made it to Joburg?

David Steven | 05:28 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The political declaration, first draft, spoke of the "global apartheid" dividing rich and poor (a concept introduced to the summit by President Mbeki).

For Nick Schulz, the analogy is spot-on, but the problem is the "trade barriers and technology restrictions that block markets for poor people around the world."

These are defended by environmental organisations and it is they, he argues, that are responsible for keeping the poor poor.

David Steven | 05:17 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


The Independent's Geoffrey Lean believes it "hard to overestimate the damage done internationally by the cursory treatment of the summit by the absent President Bush and the transient Mr Blair."

Indeed, the summit produced only one hero - Ethiopia's Tewolde Egziabher, who has been at the forefront of campaigns against the use of genetic engineering in Africa...

David Steven | 05:04 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |


Apparently, there was a right-wing plot to bomb the summit...

David Steven | 04:42 PM South African time (utc/gmt +2) |



 

[sidelights]

New Page 1

THe Summit Awards
Our prizes for the people who made the summit...
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DAMMING DEVELOPMENT
Is sustainability good for you?...
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WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY
The bottom line on corporate responsibility...
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FURNACE OR BONFIRE
Do we live in a Malthusian world?...
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A HUMAN VOICE
The lowdown on the blogging phenomenon...
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charles secrett
Executive Director of Friends of the Earth
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Shahida Jamil
Federal Minister for the Environment, Govt of Pakistan
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Jane Goodall
Primatologist and conservationist
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Naomi Klein
Author of "No Logo"
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Michael Dorsey
Director of the Sierra Club
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Matt Thomas
Head of Renewables, npower
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Tladi John Nlovu
Summit driver and entrepreneur
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Lloyd Anderson
Director of Science, The British Council
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Summit Archive
15 September
08 September
01 September
25 August
18 August
11 August
04 August
28 July
21 July

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