Svitlana and I are in Copenhagen for the climate change negotiations.
We almost did not get into opening session, however.
Governmental delegates had gone in through one door, while non-governmental delegates were routed to another, where we stood in a long line. When we got to the head of that line, we learned that our NGO credentials were not enough for entrance to the plenary session.
Only those who also had a special yellow tag, issued to some NGO focal points, could enter. How to solve that?
It happened that we ran into Hemantha Withenage, our good friend (and ELAW Partner) from Sri Lanka. Then Hemantha disappeared, as we tried to figure out a strategy to use. In ten minutes Hemantha came back, now wearing a yellow tag and smiling as he held one out to us. We decided that Svitlana should enter, leaving her laptop behind. I stuffed her cellphone hidden into her pocket. Some guards were prohibiting laptops and cell phones, but I wanted to be able to find her later.
I stayed close to the door, holding our two briefcases and looking for another miracle like Hemantha’s.
After some time, the guards decided that the remaining NGO seats should be filled, and so they let a dozen of us standing nearby enter. Since the guard said nothing about cell phones and laptops, I just innocently carried them all in.
John Bonine, ELAW Board of Directors