While other participants were attending the tree planting excursion, a new statutes proposal was being worked on at the university. Having listened carefully to the debates, suggestions and concerns of the group, Markus and Janna sat down together and came up with a new draft. So on day four, with Anna Luhrmann facilitating, the group turned its attention to finding consensus on GYG statutes.
Fighting time restrictions, amendments were made as we went along. The aim was for consensus but voting was necessary several times. By lunch, the statutes were finished and the relief and sense of achievement were wonderful.
During lunch the regions held meetings. With the statutes now finished, it was definite that a steering committee would need to be appointed. Each region appointed representatives in different ways- Europe in a secret ballot, Asia Pacific in a vote with hands, and Africa with a lively group debate. With only five representatives in attendance, the Americas process was slightly simpler. Overseen by an election committee, the congress then voted on the candidates put forward by the regions. After the incoming steering committee was announced and a quick photo opportunity taken, the statement of principles was debated and decided upon.
The closing ceremony featured really wonderful speakers. George Paz Martin, a veteran of the USA Green party and the American Peace movement, gave a rousing address which was a great antidote to the tension of the day. Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers of the Heinrich Böll Foundation again graced us with his presence and gave an encouraging address. Ulrike Lunacek and Phillippe Lamberts, spokespersons of the European Greens, gave us a great double act and some sound advice. Lastly, in a very memorable and moving address, Mr. Ryuhei Kawada of the Japanese Greens shared his struggle living with HIV and his passion for the Green movement.
The congress closed with all the participants rushing onto the stage and later, an evening of celebrations. By this stage there was a strong sense of community amongst the participants.