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Posted on on October 9th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

The UNCCD tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) gets underway this morning, Monday, 10 October 2011, in Changwon City, Republic of Korea.

This major conference will be attended by some 5,000 people, including the 194 Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

There are also a large number of other events taking place involving civil society and other organizations.

It comes just four weeks after the United Nations General Assembly special session in New York, where more than 100 heads of states, heads of government or heads of delegation addressed the issues of desertification land degradation and drought (DLDD) in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This sent a clear message about the global threat from desertification, land degradation and drought. World leaders committed to increased international cooperation to combat desertification at all levels.

The outcomes of the COP will be of interest to every single issue debated now in the world – this because the arid lands of the world arw such a chunk of the underdeveloped world – not just of the oil rich member states of the UN.

Interesting that the meeting was set up in the home state of he UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. This may get us to think that no more appropriate location was found because the places where aridity is the familiar state of affairs just do not have trust in the UN that it will eventually help them.

Let us hope thus that the States that are not coursed with aridity will be ready to open their purses to help – not just to set up conferences that help their tourism by filling empty hotels.

The announcement also says that “There will also be the launch of new initiatives which will be of particular interest to news outlets.” This gets us to think that the approach taken by the UN is to entice news outlets rather then governments and businesses that could help. ¬†BUT THEN – THE UN MAIN OFFICE IN NEW YORK – THE PRESENT SECRETARIAT’S DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION – CHASES AWAY THE MOST APPROPRIATE NEWS OUTLETS – THOSE INTERESTED IN SUSTAINABILITY – UNDER A UN WAY – UNDER UNSG BAN KI-MOON – OF DECIDING WHAT IS PRESS – ¬†THAT SEES IN SUSTAINABILITY AN ISSUE APPROPRIATE FOR NGOs AND NOT AS MEDIA. So, this sort of information disseminators can come with the NGOs but will not have access to what the appropriate professional agency would like to pass on to media. Oh Well – this is the UN to you!

Here is a link to the COP 10 e-media kit

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