Sunday, August 25, 2002

Students! Attendance at the Pep Rally is Mandatory!
They held a big hoedown today in Johannesburg to kick off the Earth Summit. Based on available photos, it seems to have resembled an African shanty town with multimedia effects. There were some people dressed up like giraffes though. Unfortunately, those weren't the speakers, no matter how appropriate.

The BBC tried an uplifting version of South African President Thabo Mbeki's welcome address, saying he "urged delegates to go into the summit on Monday in a mood of hope, not despair." They apparently didn't feel it necessary to report additional details like the following snippet reported by News24:
"This is a world in which a rich minority enjoys unprecedented levels of consumption, comfort and prosperity, while the poor majority endures daily hardship, suffering and dehumanisation," he said.

It was a world in crisis through the effects of unsustainable development and the injudicious exploitation of natural resources, in which poverty was exascerbated by war and conflict.

This social behaviour had produced and entrenched a global system of apartheid.

"The suffering of the billions who are the victims of this system calls for the same response that drew the peoples of the world into the struggle for the defeat of apartheid in this country."

Mbeki said the decisive victory of South Africa's apartheid system confirmed the possibility of achieving victory against global apartheid.

"Out of Johannesburg and out of Africa, must emerge something new that takes the world forward away from the entrenchments of global apartheid, to the realisation of teh goals of sustainable development.
(Typos courtesy of News24)
Stay tuned for "global apartheid" to become the catch phrase of the clueless.

Meanwhile the huge (supposedly 65,000) cast of characters started showing up. "Special UN Envoy responsible for the World Summit on Sustainable Development", Jan Pronk demonstrated his solar powered barbering skills, and then confirmed his room temperature IQ with:
The divide between the wealthy and the poor was brought into stark relief by the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States, said Jan Pronk, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's liaison to the summit.

He said that ostracizing the poor will only breed more resentment toward the West.

"We have to provide a safe place for every person, in the future, on this Earth. A safe place, safe home, safe job," he said.
Somehow I don't think providing dirt naps to wealthy Islamic terrorists figures high in his plan.

Then Hans Christian Schmidt, the environment minister in Denmark who is leading the EU delegation, warned that "There is broad agreement that another summit full of words followed by no concrete action would be intolerable." Hans doesn't realize that it is an even better argument for getting rid of the summit generating bureaucracy in the UN. 65,000 delegates indeed.