Message from the UN Sector Negotiating Delegation
With the end of negotiations in sight, it’s time to consider the best place and time to hold a world sectoral.
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The UN Negotiations are to be held in Geneva 7-8 November 2017. We trust we will conclude our talks in November and are keen to bring the results to a world sectoral meeting as soon as is practicable.
Once negotiations are concluded we will have to work on the final version of the Agreement and the Record of Proceedings, all of which will take at least two more weeks if no major problems arise. This would mean being able to hold a WS in early December, but we don’t think that would be a good time to organize it because it will be the run-up to the Christmas break and colleagues would not be able to get reasonably priced tickets.
Our preferred solution is to convene the World Sectoral in conjunction with the AIIC Assembly in Valencia. We would by January have a final version of the Agreement and be able to prepare the meeting properly. We firmly believe that we would get a much better turnout in Valencia because regional bureaux are providing financial support for those travelling long distance and they would be unable to do so again for a WS held next spring. Not only would appending the WS to the Assembly save money, it would boost the likelihood of a good turnout. Indeed it may persuade those who might not normally attend a WS to do so, and we see real benefit in giving members an opportunity to:
- Attend a WS, maybe for the first time;
- Acquaint themselves with the very different interests of colleagues and the issues they face around the world;
- Witness first-hand the major effort required to reach a collective understanding;
- Speak (and ultimately vote) directly rather than through a proxy;
- Obtain direct information about the negotiations and the Agreement and not through written reports, bulletins and documents;
- Understand how much the ND has to juggle to accommodate diverse interests;
- See for themselves that the ND and the UN sector have the backing of the highest AIIC bodies (i.e. ExCo and GA).
There is also the potential of deferred benefit in that attendance can help colleagues feel implicated in the sector – in their sector – which can translate into subsequent involvement in AIIC’s work.
The Executive Committee has pointed out that the Assembly programme is very tight and it would not be possible to take time out of the current schedule. We believe a good compromise would be to slightly amend the agenda to hold the WS concurrently with the end of the Assembly on Sunday 14th January. We are writing to canvass your opinion because we believe we should grasp this opportunity to facilitate worldwide participation and in so doing achieve a historically high turnout.