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Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi was both praised and slammed for his role in Copenhagen

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12/20/09

  01:59:05 am, by admin, 676 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi was both praised and slammed for his role in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - DECEMBER 18: Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrives for the final day of the UN Climate Change Conference on December 18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. World leaders will try to reach agreement on targets for reducing the earth's carbon emissions on this last day of the summit. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Ethiopia - Meles Zenawi was both praised and slammed for his role in Copenhagen

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been slammed by some African delegates at the Copenhagen Climate Summit for shortchanging Africa while he was also praised by some as a victor and credited for a breakthrough in the negotiations. The following is excerpts from several major media commenting about Meles' role at the Copenhagen Climate Change summit.

The BBC's correspondent Richard Black writes,

"Ethiopia' President[sic] Meles Zenawi emerged as Africa's political victor - the chosen champion of France and the UK as they sought African support for their finance proposal. He delivered the African Union."

The Guardian writes,

"In the end, the west exerted its traditional influence in Africa. President[sic] Meles was courted strongly by presidents Sarkozy, Brown and Obama in the days before the world leaders met, to try to bring Africa aboard the west's deal.

Meles proposed that developing countries accept $100bn a year – a remarkably similar sum to what the west had suggested. The accusations soon flew that Ethiopia had been bought and Meles was immediately slapped down by his peers.

Africa ended the talks divided, but knowing that it now plays a far more important role in the new politics of climate change."

Naomi Klein wrote this in the Guardian,

"And yet that is precisely what Ethiopia's prime minister, Meles Zenawi, proposed to do when he stopped off in Paris on his way to Copenhagen: standing with President Nicolas Sarkozy, and claiming to speak on behalf of all of Africa (he is the head of the African climate-negotiating group), he unveiled a plan that includes the dreaded 2C increase and offers developing countries just $10bn a year to help pay for everything climate related, from sea walls to malaria treatment to fighting deforestation.

It's hard to believe this is the same man who only three months ago was saying this: "We will use our numbers to delegitimise any agreement that is not consistent with our minimal position … If need be, we are prepared to walk out of any negotiations that threaten to be another rape of our continent … What we are not prepared to live with is global warming above the minimum avoidable level."And this: "We will participate in the upcoming negotiations not as supplicants pleading for our case but as negotiators defending our views and interests."

We don't yet know what Zenawi got in exchange for so radically changing his tune or how, exactly, you go from a position calling for $400bn a year in financing (the Africa group's position) to a mere $10bn."

Peter Wilson writing for The Australian has the kindest words for Meles Zenawi. He writes,

"The average Australian would never have heard of Meles Zenawi but if the search for a real climate deal makes any progress over the next few months then Mr Meles might just be remembered as the man who helped to protect Australia as well as his own continent from the worst effects of climate change. Acting on his own initiative, Mr Meles delighted organizers of the summit by putting back into motion one of the key deadlocked issues."

The problem for Meles's critics was that the 54-year-old Ethiopian had laid the groundwork for his proposal so skilfully and quietly that he had left his opponents with little time and few options to thwart him.

And The Washington Post writes,

"Prime Minister Meles Zenawi played a key role as spokesman for African countries, and by extension for the least-developed countries gathered at this conference. He helped create one of conference's few bright spots, agreeing to an offer from the industrialized world to provide $30 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change. "

30 comments

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Comment from: E [Visitor]
E

Anyone know the poor guy in the picture behind Meles?He is sure looked agonized by the extreeme cold of Copenhagen.
Funny no one offered to buy him an Armani suite, scarf and a hat like you know who?

12/20/09 @ 02:43
Comment from: Abdi [Visitor]
Abdi

What we see here is all sorts of compliments coming from the western world in the direction of President Meles.
The question is did he do anything helpful for Poor Africa?
He has to answer that . He has been saying,"We will walk out if necessary.". “we will scuttle the meeting if the rape of Africa is allowed to continue".
In reality what he did was ’scale back’ (his words) the African demands to a below minimum and do whatever the European leaders told him to do. And this fellow is an Ethiopian.
Imagine that!Imagine an Ethiopian leader disappointing Africa!
Even Menghistu didn’t follow European powers just because they threatened him with less aid money. He followed the former Soviet Union because of and only because ofideological bond.
What mEles did is a shame for Ethiopia. And it is a shame for all Africa in that the Africans, outside of South Africa did not use their power at the summit (South Africa negotiated separately) because of poor representation by ETHIOPIA.

12/20/09 @ 02:54
Comment from: aatitegheb [Visitor]
aatitegheb

These are articls that are critical and credible. They are not written by an ex Ethiopian diasporas. We do not want to see Meles an idol because we had idol kings in the past but did not do much to the country’s progress. We need pragmatic leaders like Meles who know how to risk but to make their point. Meles, you are victory of your spectators and criticl minds and shame to your enemies. What should Isayas say now if he had the chance of seeing the titles of different new papers?

12/20/09 @ 03:08
Comment from: De La Manchu [Visitor]
De La Manchu

MELES you are simply the best real thing to come out of Africa. You entered Addis in victory, and flew over Paris and became a go between and saved Copenhagen and every body went home in peace and without a blood shed for Christmas. The Dense owe you a major square and a statue, you lifted them from going under. You are baking a big enjera for Ethiopia increasing productivity and effective utilization of its human and natural resources; the day will soon come when Ethiopia will be self sufficient. Ethiopia’s children have risen from a thousand year of sleep; thanks to God Almighty and the political economic philosophy of EPRDF.
MERRY CHRISTMAS: PRIME MINISTER MELES AND FAMILY AND ALL ETHIOPIANS AND AFRICANS at home and in the diaspora.

12/20/09 @ 03:44
Comment from: true [Visitor]
true

What is so shameful is that, the Western journalists will talk as if Ethiopia, rather than saying Meles. Ethiopia’s name will be bad mouthed. For the first time in history, Ethiopia will be looked ate as a traitor and treacherous who caused the destruction of Africa. This will get stuck in their head. Lord have mercy. God save our mother Ethiopia from the demise of TPLF and Melese. God save us all.

12/20/09 @ 03:58
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]  

There are overwhelming criticism againt our Prime Minister from the trairor Ethiopian diaspora than anywhere else ranging from calling him ‘the mouse’ to labeling him as ‘a back stabber’ for Copenhagen summit.

The Copenhagen phenomenon is not the often secretive and compelex Ethiopian politics alone but, a phenomenon in which the world is an equal partner as much as we the Ethiopians are. I do believe this should be the best example to the international community to learn, to know, to discover or to understand the evil nature of the Ethiopian diaspora in particularly of those communities who are harboring those sold out traitor Ethiopian diaspora in the developed world.

There should not be any more example to the international community to identify the Ethiopian diaspora with their narrow understanding of literally almost everything, their baseless alligation against the Ethiopian government, their disagreeablity to what is honest, decent and reasonable, there should be no more best opportunity for the international community to learn the Ethiopian diaspora disguised evil motive of hate politics in the name of democracy and rule of law.

Here is the best example for the world to learn about Ethiopian diaspora.

12/20/09 @ 04:00
Comment from: Drogba [Visitor]
Drogba

One again the west get the good end of the bargain while we(African)are left to face the consequence of climate change.Our PM tried his best and should be praised for his effort.

12/20/09 @ 04:01
Comment from: Isaias [Visitor]
Isaias

What else can you expect from Meles?

12/20/09 @ 06:47
Comment from: Focus [Visitor]
Focus

I am muddling between two points. one is it seems every one got short of the expectations to meet at the Copenhagen as things couldn’t converge into one point specially the disagreement among the economic moguls and hence accordingly , isn’t a wisdom the shift in stand made by PM Melese ?
The other point is what it could be if the African delegation walks of the house. Could it been influenced any button of the superpowers and might change the out come or it would been instead a child cry for a moment ? So i hope some one will hint me out with non-politically motivated suggestion. Thanks in advance!!!

12/20/09 @ 07:28
Comment from: samson [Visitor]
samson

Are U kidding me? What do U expect from the west? ofcourse they will praise U when U do thier bidding selling out the very people U were supposed to represent. The politically unstable Zenawi who is banking on western support to stay in power would sell out his people to get political support to stay in power and that is exactly what Zenawi did in Copenhagen. The African people clearly lost the game. Zenawi sold Africa for the highest bidder no ifs and buts. sold

12/20/09 @ 08:32
Comment from: Yonas H. from Seattle [Visitor]
Yonas H. from Seattle

The Primer stated that, “Africa loses more than most if there is no agreement on climate change. Because we have more to lose than others, we have to be prepared to be flexible and be prepared to go the extra-mile to accommodate others.”

From the perspectives of strategic goals setting, I do admire the action taken by Prime Minister Meles to soften the original financial and minimum allowable emission targets to avoid another deadlock even though I have doubts with the timing and if the needed coordination with other African leaders or representatives had taken place.

Getting concessions from the developed nations, especially from the top ten most polluters contributing largely to the global worming, has been close to impossible in the past. Total concessions from China & the US will be very unlikely in the near future, simply because there is a lot at stack, the main energy source that there economy is based on is the very subject that is being blamed to cause the significant amount of the green house effect and related global worming.
So, it is easy to understand that the change has to come from within countries themselves primarily. More than anything, creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency among these countries, and then a willingness and commitment to achieve the objectives are the essentials and beginnings that are crucially needed. In my view, creating some spirit of trust and a sense of commitment to the cause are some the biggest achievements of the Copenhagen Accord. It is reasonable to understand why it is impossible to achieve a universal agreement at this point that could satisfy the demands and objectives of all nations, the various interest groups, academicians, activists and many other players.

12/20/09 @ 08:50
Comment from: YD [Visitor]
YD

Shameful life Meles and Shame of Meles.

12/20/09 @ 10:14
Comment from: Amaraw [Visitor]
Amaraw

he sold eritira first now africa ! So why you guys are wondering? This guy loves money. Don’t you get it?

12/20/09 @ 11:40
Comment from: Yeha [Visitor]
Yeha

“Prime Minister Meles Zenawi played a key role as spokesman for African countries, and by extension for the least-developed countries gathered at this conference. He helped create one of conference’s few bright spots, agreeing to an offer from the industrialized world to provide $30 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change.”

That is why we called him the greatest leader in Africa.Bringing change is the way he born to be.Indeed it shows in Copenhagen too.Yeha

12/20/09 @ 12:47
Comment from: sosi [Visitor]
sosi

very funny!

How come a man who could not save his own people saves the whole continent???

12/20/09 @ 13:58

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