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Plastic surgery

by: Red Constantino

7th GCF Board Meeting, hoping for beautiful outcomes

The meeting began a quarter to nine in the morning, with the co-chairs providing opening statements. Manfred Konukiewitz of Germany echoed the reminder delivered earlier by his counterpart, Albay Gov. Jose Ma. Clemente Salceda — the youth are watching, the poor are watching and so the work must be accomplished with meaning and dispatch.

It’s the seventh board meeting of the Green Climate Fund, and the event is taking place at the hulking Convensia in Songdo, Korea.  Most of the discussion surrounds the main task of the Fund — the preparations it is undertaking to mobilize resources, for the Fund has no funds to disburse, at least not yet.

Lots of issues, as usual, and a lot of doubt whether the Board is up to the task of completing their workplan, since in the last meeting in Bali, people decided to just chuck a huge portion of decisions for discussion and ageement in Songdo.

It was amusing to note another event that had taken place in the same venue, a day before the formal start of the GCF board meeting: the 12th Korea-Japan Congress of Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery. It was a photo opportunity we just couldn’t pass up, and my good colleagues Liane Schalatek of Heinrich Boell Foundataion and Annaka Carvalho of Oxfam America gamely posed in what is hopefully one of many light moments here in Songdo.

Apart from laughing at the possible beauty operation caption — “Success!” — it was also clear to us that no manner of reconstruction surgery on the GCF would suffice if the board members failed to finish their work in Songdo.

What would initial mobilization mean? How many steps are envisioned in the process, which is to start in June with pledges from contributor countries? What amounts govern the process, the amounts basically framing the ambition conveyed by the Fund to vulnerable communities around the world. Who exactly is involved in defining how the pledging process takes place, and is the mode of pledging largely left to the contributor countries (which would be absurd)?

Many unanswered questions, even more stacks of documents, lots of work ahead, but hopefully with beautiful outcomes that would not require any plastic surgery, or gallons of Soju.

Red Constantino is currently in Songdo, Korea as an advisor to the Philippine delegation to the GCF headed by GCF Board Co-Chair and Albay Gov. Jose Ma. Clemente Sarte Salceda.