Utopian World Championship

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Posted: 2003-12-26 | by: Jon

On December 21 2003, 37 copies of the Final Document in the UWC 2001 were sent, by myself and Annika Drougge, to Heads of State all over the world, and with each copy a personal letter about the competition. 10 copies was also sent to a selection of NGO’s. This event finally brought the first championship to a close. The attempt to reach a more or less randomly selected part of the world´s leaders creates a special atmosphere. It is as if you are taking the pulse on the state of representative democracy. Will the letters ever reach the prominent recipients or will their secretary throw it in the bin without hesitation? Mail delivery is perhaps also a quite unsafe method to send things across the globe, but on the other hand it is the most efficient way for an organisation of our size to work despite the cost. For myself, the personal delivery process has been a more important way to go. That is, to deliver the document in person, if possible, to the selected Heads of State (or his/hers secretary). When we have tried that method it has often proven to be quite difficult due to "red tape". Calls or letters that were not answered, our requests for a meeting and photo op rejected or constantly postponed. This on the other hand proves how difficult it is for ordinary people to reach their reresentatives, especially after September 11 which placed many heads of state behind layers upon layers of security measures. The exception is my meeting with The President of Iceland, Mr.Olafur Ragnar Grimsson who received me and my company in his residence with an open mind. The Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson is a typical example in that he has not granted us a meeting, but not dismissed us. Mrs. Mary McAleese, president of the Republic of Ireland refused our request with a kind reply and the same goes for the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr John Howard. In the latter case we ended up in a tangle of security policies while trying to deliver the document to his office at the Parliament in Canberra. No one from his office was prepared to come down to the lobby and pick up our letter with the document, in contrast to what we had been told beforehand. In the end we had to send our letter containing the UWC document from the Parliament´s own post office and out into the regular mail circuit before it could later return to the same parliament. What a paradox.