Joseph Buys, the chair of the group discussing the financial details, probably had one of the hardest jobs in the entire conference, trying to reconcile the different viewpoints of the rich and the poor nations.

On the final day, as the financial mechanism document was finally adopted, working group chair Andrew Bignell of New Zealand praised Mr. Buys’ efforts, promising to buy him a beer to celebrate. Immediately, Mr. Buys quipped: “Will you make sure that promise is adopted in the Convention text?” to widespread chuckles.

Delegates spent their free time over the last few weeks exploring the historic wonders of the old city of Hyderabad, and splurging on ethnic shawls, kurtas and pearls. But at least one African delegate had a different kind of tourism in mind. The Minister from an East African nation spent the last morning of the conference at Apollo Hospital, getting a thorough check-up.

“India is well known for its medical expertise, and he could not get such a check-up back home. So he felt this would be a good opportunity,” said a source close to the Minister.

As the conference dragged on towards midnight, stocks in the food stalls at the venue quickly ran out. The final piece of cake was sold around 9 p.m. outside the room hosting the resource mobilisation talks. While local staff rushed out to buy more packets of chips and biscuits to sate the hunger of the negotiators, the European Commissioner’s spokesman Joe Hennon, a veteran of such conferences, brandished his secret weapon — a stash of energy bars.

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