Heather Hatzenbuhler, Sierra Student Coalition COP 17 Delegate
When I first arrived at the ICC on the first day of negotiations I was absolutely overwhelmed by everything that was going on. It was immediately clear to me that my studies of the UN in international affairs courses were mostly unsuccessful in providing understanding of how international governance works. However, after a crash course from the patient and experienced SSC COP veteran and ExComm director, Joseph Manning, my head was able to stop spinning for a little bit.
The UNFCCC and all its subsidiary bodies and working groups (LCA, SBI, SBSTA, CMP, etc) are quite possibly the most complicated of all UN bodies. Things quickly picked up again though when I joined the youth non-governmental organization (YOUNGO) working group on capacity building (more to come on this later....).
In the first three days of the conference our group has already given two interventions (an opening statement by a non-state delegate on an issue) in plenary sessions, met with dozens of negotiators and written concrete policy and amendment proposal to the final text of the agreement relating to capacity building.
I have been absolutely amazed with the success that this group has had in terms of access to “closed” sessions, high-level meetings and overall commitment, engagement, and diversity of the delegates working on this issue in YOUNGO. The group is comprised of people from Singapore, UK, Afghanistan, South Africa, Bulgaria, US, Denmark, Norway, Congo, Maldives, China, Canada, and more. Cool huh? I sure think so.
I am so SO SO excited to continue to work on the capacity building policy and build relationships with these wonderful people