Malaysians in COP21

Prior to COP21, we planned to conduct a Malaysian gathering or more like a makan (eating) session to gather Malaysians inside and outside COP. I was in charge of conducting and it seems to be so much harder than whichever gathering that I have done before.

Firstly, Malaysians in COP21 are very diverse. They are all both inside and outside COP; and very have different schedule. People from GEC, TWN, some other national delegations including negotiators are those who are inside COP. Whereas Wininie from JOAS, Quek Yew Aun and some other Malaysians who have no access to enter COP venue. Plus, all of them arrive Paris at different timing.

Secondly, it’s a hassle finding a venue. People inside COP are busy with own stuff and would prefer to stay in. But if the meeting place is inside COP, what about the others outside? Well partially it was just me being too perfectionist of wanting to include as many people as I can. I think it’s also important to let people inside COP to know what are the people doing outside COP and vice-versa. This might lead to more coordination and collaboration too!

Thirdly, it’s actually my fault not placing this as my priority to do which leads to late coordination from my side. I only started to coordinate at the end of first week.

Even with all the odds against me, I decided proceed, set a time and see how it goes. Sunitha from national delegation and Raj from GEC came, I thought it was better than nothing. It was pretty casual, networking and exchanging opinions. Most importantly, so nice to listen to the familiar Malaysian English :p

There was an unexpected round of “gathering” few days later. It was at the end of negotiations period where our negotiator- Dr Gary as well as Hilary from TWN who are apparently the busiest people in COP actually told us they r free and they offer to meet up with us (asked separately btw). LIKE WOAHHH. Am i dreaming listening to this. But yeah! Rare chance! So we asked Sunitha to tag along too and tadaaa our unexpected second round of Malaysian makan session kinilah terjadi. Woohoo! (With higher MYD attendance hurrayyy)

MYD members lunch session with fellow Malaysians in COP21- (3rd from the left: Dr. Gary Theseira, Malaysia national negotiator; 4th from left: Hilary Chiew from Third World Network (TWN); and 1st from right: Sunitha Bisan from Malaysia National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO).

MYD members lunch session with fellow Malaysians in COP21- (3rd from the left: Dr. Gary Theseira, Malaysia national negotiator; 4th from left: Hilary Chiew from Third World Network (TWN); and 1st from right: Sunitha Bisan from Malaysia National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO).

Lesson learnt: this type of makan session can be done more than once, to fit this kind of situation of everyone is everywhere. And I think MYD is capable of organising this because of our pre engagement with fellow Malaysians. So we should continue organising such makan session and make it a MYD tradition in every COP. Fantastic 😀

P.s. you know, the adults are actually very happy to have our presence- the bubbly and happy youths around them especially when they are stressing out with the negotiations. Didn’t know that is actually the easiest thing we can contribute in COP which is just simply our presence.

Written by: Emily Oi

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