Isolating our voice - why distance matters
Blog 5 on attempts to isolate our critical voice is here. Our building for seminars etc is far enough away from the negotiation building that few delegations have time to come - but we battle on
Placing us at a "safe" distance from the negotiation venue simply means that very few delegates have time to drop by and hear the voice of workers and civil society. This is yet another attack on us, and one that is hard to swallow. But so it is, and we are finding ways around this. Because, lets admit it, preaching to the already converted isn't going to get us very far. See video below here for some of our core positions!
Today the Ministerial officially opened. We were not invited to participate, in actual fact we got a "you are not invited" email - which, all else equal, is rather off putting. But that gave us more energy to get out there and make a difference. It hasn't been a slow day.
From press briefings and a meeting with the EU delegation, to prep work for our E-commerce seminar tomorrow, to an evening reception with the Global Progressive Forum, UNI has been darting across Buenos Aires lobbying, handing out our article on e-commerce, and advertising for our workshop tomorrow on ecommerce, SMEs and employment.
News from here is that the WTO DG Azevedo has gone against his promises and moved negotiations to so-called green rooms. This is a far less transparent, far more manipulative tactic to reach agreements. The EU maintains its push for a full-blown e-commerce agreement which, according to us and many others, will deepen the digital divide across the world. Some less-developed countries have been convinced to support the EUs proposals, but thankfully the African Group maintains its position against this push for what is obviously an attempt to move the signposts of the WTO. We strongly oppose these proposals for e-commerce rules and this sneaky attempt to create a WTO 2.0 for the benefit of the developed world.
A new day is soon upon us - with a briefing at 0900, our seminar, lobby meetings and EU debriefings. The day ends with a mingle with the business community at an evening reception. I will go, equipped with hardhitting one-liners and a bunch of business cards.
Over and out from Buenos Aires!