For three days, the UN Assembly Hall has been much like a parliament. A plenary debate, rich in political content, mixed with lots of discussions and networking in the corridors and in separate meeting rooms.
Those who attended the panel discussions came back with the impression of having sat in parliamentary committees: no speeches, lots of debate.
Meetings have started on time (almost unheard of at the UN) and been well attended throughout. The closing session has almost as many participants as the beginning.
The morning today is hectic, to say the least, and busy with last minute negotiations. Really, it is only by the time that we sit down to hear the rapporteur that I am fairly certain that the Speakers will adopt an outcome document.
I am conscious of the fact that the declaration is not perfect, says the rapporteur. We have a divergence of opinions and this is of course quite natural. We are, after all, political leaders. This is maybe the best compromise we can forge at this stage, he concludes.
Maybe. President Gurirab makes the point that all delegates clearly do not agree with everything that is said in the declaration. Several Speakers from the European Union do not agree with everything said about the IPU in the fourth part of the declaration. That must mean that we will have to continue our dialogue to resolve our differences. On that understanding, he invites the Speakers to adopt the declaration.
It is 12.36 pm; the declaration is adopted.
Throughout these days, we have heard the most extraordinary plurality of opinions. It is going to take us quite a while to distil it all.
That will also mean – for this Secretary General – to learn the lessons of his first blogging experience!