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Little visible civil society presence at UN summit

14 September 2005

From a quick walk around the UN buildings and surronding area, I'd say Solana Larsen is right (see previous post) to say New York is so far underwhelmed by the presence of more world leaders together in one place at the same time since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 for a summit predicated on "bold reform".

I was quite surprised to see no organised presence on the streets outside by NGOs like Oxfam calling for the UN to meet the Millennium Development Goals (however problematic those goals may be  - see Amir Attaran in the Sep 13 New York Times and this response from Jeffrey Sachs), or even the recommendations of the UN High Level Panel itself.

Indeed, the most conspicuous token of "civil society" presence I have seen so far is a giant poster right pretty much opposite one of the main entrances to the compound advertising brokenpromisesmovie.com . This comes from a group called Citizens United, whose American Sovereignty Project aims for "complete U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations, defeat of the treaty to establish a permanent U.N.-controlled International Criminal Court, and rejection of one-world government".

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