Copenhagen blog: Signing off
Monday, December 21, 2009 | 11:51 AM ET
Submitted by Caroline Lee
Saturday was the last day of the negotiations, and emotions were running high. The night before, the Canadian Youth Delegation held a wrap-up meeting, where we contemplated accomplishments, failures, and personal reflections from the past two weeks.
Members of our group, who I now consider to be like a new family to me, expressed common messages of disappointment and frustration in working within this machine of the international negotiation process, coupled with a government that continues not to represent the voice of young people.
We have been calling out loudly, and in the past few weeks, have worked ourselves to fatigue, to tears, to severe demoralization, towards the culmination of a highly unsatisfactory outcome at these negotiations.
With that, I also heard strong messages of inspiration and persistence.
So rare is it that young people with a common goal to realize change in a certain way, get the chance to deliver to decision-makers our message, with the entire world watching. So rare is it that this group can be so informed, so passionate, have such a diversified skill set, and be so effective as what I have experienced here.
These past two weeks have seen us tell the government, straight out to “represent us or go home” and to “stop tarring our image.”
We staged a sit-in within the conference, with the message that we would not leave until a fair, ambitious, and binding treaty was reached. We showed the world Canada's unacceptably obstructive conduct during these talks, as evidenced by the Colossal Fossil award yesterday. And we sent these messages back home through all kinds of media routes, to communities reaching all corners of the country.
Many tears have fallen in the past 24 hours, though only as a testament to the incredible amount of heart that has been poured into this movement by an extraordinary group of 35 young Canadians.
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