Kevin Conrad, you da man

The news from the Bali conference reminded me a lot of the machinations during international negotiations on The West Wing. No doubt things would have progressed further if it was Jed Bartlett, not George W Bush, running the White House.

But you’ve got to hand it to the delegate from Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad.

Report in The Australian:

Then the head of the US delegation, Paula Dobriansky, spoke. “We are not prepared to accept this formulation,” she said, setting off loud, long boos in the hall.

This was the cue for delegate after delegate to take aim at the US.

Australia remained silent. But South Africa’s delegate called Ms Dobriansky’s intervention “most unwelcome and without any basis”.

“We would like to beg them” to relent, added the Ugandan delegate.

The delegate from Papua New Guinea leaned into his microphone. “We seek your leadership,” Kevin Conrad told the Americans. “But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.”

The UN climate conference exploded with applause. The US’s isolation was complete. No one spoke in support. And Ms Dobriansky capitulated, withdrawing the US objection.

Anybody know if this exchange is on video anywhere?

Update: Here it is. (Thanks Zzz)

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16 Replies to “Kevin Conrad, you da man”

  1. I heard that on the radio and I was mighty impressed. The delegate does not have a PNG type name and did not have a PNG accent. Did they appoint someone from Australia with a PNG history? He would not have spoken without the authorization of the PNG government. Clearly they do not receive aid from the US. Maybe a transcript is at ABC World Today, but not sure. Could have been AM or PM.

  2. I saw it – I think on ABC TV news. Not only did Kevin Conrad have an Anglo name – he looked a whole lot cuter than Michael Somare. Not that I’m into sexism or stereotyping or anything, mind you. But I can spot talent!

    Blessings and bliss

  3. The individual is an Papua New Guinea born,Harvard educated American and a personally friend and adviser to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare. He was born in PNG, actually in the same province of the PM.He represents the PNG Government on issues pertaining to forest and climate change issues in PNG.

  4. BBC World & CNN played it while Aus local stations treated it as a biplay to beating up ‘Aus leading the world’ crap.
    There are lots of paraphrased versions of the text, but his actual words were truly perfect. A sublimely brilliant, moment.
    Conrad’s affiliations explain his testy honesty towards both the US and the conference. Getting commmitment to a carbon price would have been his prime step to saving rainforest, carbon sinks & making jobs for people locals.
    Yep, definitely my eco pinup boy for a while!!

  5. I saw it on the ABC TV (NSW) 9pm(ish) update, that night.
    I remember it distinctly because it absolutely floored me, it’s fantastic. The US delegation really got what they needed.

    Although, I bet that there will have been some significant backpeddling and/or posterior kissing behind closed doors by the Diplomats.

  6. A moment I will retell with fondness to my little 20 month old son when he is older! Definitive, eloquent,direct and honest. Viva PNG, Viva Kevin Conrad!!The US had that coming big time!

  7. Yeah, I saw that one too! Great comment by him. Love it. I’m so sorry that, as a Canadian, I’m embarassed honestly by our governments actions. This current Conservative government are stick-in-the-muds that like to kiss the asses of big corps. Sorry for the blunt language, but that’s about the way I see it.

  8. yay! [stands and applauds the ‘little guy’]. Stick it to the Yanks and their Big-Corporation ar$e sucking-up stalling tactics! Yay!
    Cyalayta
    Mal :)

  9. Further to what I say above: Scientists from Canada are the leading proponents for change, but “Canada” as a nation is seen as a “bad guy” along with the U.S. for dragging its feet. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/quirks-blog/2007/12/scientists_see_but_leaders_bli.html
    How lovely to have the country run by leaders with blinders on, fingers in their ears, saying “la, la, la can’t hear you for the money we’re being paid to be blind on this”. *sigh* I feel very, very disappointed in my country’s leadership, believe me!

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