When a senior diplomat at global talks breaks down in public, it is a signal that other countries must pay attention. It happens rarely, but it can have a dramatic effect. On Thursday, it happened in a full plenary session of the COP18 climate talks at Doha.
He wanted to relate the tortured negotiations to the tragedy unfolding in his own country when typhoon Bopha slammed into the island of Mindanao, killing hundreds of people and making thousands homeless. It was, he said, like hurricane Sandy which hit New York, Haiti and Cuba last month, a clear sign of climate change. No typhoon had ever come so far south, it was more intense than ever and one had not hit this region in many decades.