Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Straight Talk

More than 15 NGO reps spoke to the NPT review conference delegates at the UN Wednesday. A lot of work and preparation went into making every one of those speeches powerful and impressive.

Nevertheless so many speeches is too many speeches. I watched delegates in the audience talking on cell phones, chatting with visitors and "working the room." This may very well be the norm but it highlighted the issue of what kind of impact all the NGO speeches were actually having on this distracted audience.

A recurring complaint of the NGO community is lack of meaningful contact with UN delegates. Perhaps it would have been more productive to set the tone for the meeting with one or two speeches and request that the rest of the time be used for face to face dialogue?
Anita Pulier

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