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COP17 President's closing remarks

Decisions taken in Durban are 'truly historical', says COP17 President.

Updated on 12 Dec 2011 14:08 GMT

Included below are remarks made by COP17 President, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on December 9th and December 11th concerning the COP17 meeting held in Durban between November 28th and December 9th 2011.

Remarks made on December 9th.

Today is officially the last day of COP17/CMP7. We are counting down the hours before the conference comes to an end; and we know the world out there is waiting with anticipation for the outcomes of this Conference.

With the very limited time at our disposal, work continued through Thursday night and will continue throughout the course of today to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcome.

The parties are engaging genuinely and working very hard to ensure that agreement is reached on the matters before the conference. Parties are looking at convergences, guided by trust and a spirit of give-and-take.

At the moment, there are various options that the parties are considering in relation to (1) the issue of the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol and future process as well as (2) long-term finance with specific reference to the operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund. Parties are expressing the hope that the Green Climate Fund can be launched here in Durban.

The various groups, including the Association of Small Island States (OASIS), the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the European Union (EU) and the Africa Group are moving towards common ground on various aspects of the negotiations. Other parties are coming on board.

Despite these positive sentiments, we are still not there yet. We have limited time within which to conclude the negotiations. We remain hopeful that we can make further progress within this limited period.

Consultations are on-going regarding both the Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Framework aimed at promoting climate-friendly and adaptation-related technologies.

The negotiations are continuing within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Party-driven principle, which is based on transparency and inclusiveness, with the focus on addressing both the now and future aspects of Climate Change.

COP17 Closing Statement on December 11th

Distinguished Ministers and delegates, we are now at the conclusion of COP17/CMP7.

I want to utilise this opportunity to thank you all for your dedication, hard work and for the spirit of Ubuntu and compromise that prevailed during this Conference.

I applaud you for what you have been able to accomplish here in Durban. You were prepared to show the required political will to move this process forward. It is without any doubt in my mind that we have “worked together to save tomorrow, today!”

I believe the Indaba laid the foundation for this Conference. Indaba, as you will recall, is a word in isiZulu that refers to a gathering of people with the purpose to debate a matter of great importance to the community in an attempt to find a common mind or a common story that all participants can take with them. Climate Change is our common problem which affects us all and the Durban Platform is the story we will take home with us.

Our intention with the Indaba was to restore trust in the multilateral system and to enshrined transparency and inclusivity within our party driven process. The decisions that we have taken here are truly historical and include the following:

i) The amendment of the Kyoto Protocol
ii) Decisions of the LCA
iii) The Green Climate Fund
iv) The future of the Climate Change Regime.

I would therefore like to congratulate all the delegations for their leadership and rising to the occasion when it was most required. At the outset we urged you to show leadership in action and to think beyond your national positions. You have clearly demonstrated your commitment and willingness to achieve the broad and balanced result that we all can be proud of.

Once again I want to express our congratulations to Qatar as incoming COP18/CMP8 President for being prepared to host the next Conference. Here we cannot omit South Korea’s gracious gesture to compromise by offering to host the informal ministerial meetings in preparation for COP18/CMP8.

From my team and me, I would like to convey a special word of appreciation to the Executive Secretary, Ms. Christiana Figueres and the UNFCCC team for their professional and much appreciated support. We are looking forward to continue working together in the further discharge of our duties as COP17/CMP7 President.

Last but not least, thank you to the City of Durban, the ICC and all those hard working support staff who spent marathon hours to contribute to the success of this event.

I trust that your time in Durban and in South Africa will remain a memorable one and that you will stay on for a while to relax and enjoy what the city and the country have to offer.

I wish you a safe journey back to your respective countries and I am looking forward to see you again next year when we start with our preparations for COP18/CMP8.

Thank you.

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