Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane attends the 8th Basic Ministerial Meeting to be held in Brazil from 26 – 27 August 2011

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in her capacity as incoming President of the UNFCCC COP17/CMP7, will be attending the 8th BASIC Ministerial Meeting taking place in Brazil from 26-27 August 2011. The Ministers responsible for the Environment and Climate Change of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (i.e. BASIC countries) meet four times a year, to discuss issues related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. In this regard, South Africa will be represented by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa.

The BASIC Grouping is emerging as one of the most important formations in the climate change negotiations. Indeed, after its instrumental role in the salvaging of the Copenhagen Summit, it is expected that the Group will continue to develop ways of bringing the negotiations back on track in order achieve the objectives set out by the Bali Action Plan in 2007.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, mandated by the COP16 decision 1/CP.16 paragraph 146 undertakes consultations with various groupings, in her capacity as Incoming President of the COP. The Honorable Minister will therefore be using the opportunity of this Meeting to consult, as she has done with other groups such as the EU, G77 plus China, and individual countries. In the spirit of transparency and inclusivity, South Africa will ensure that feedback is made on all of these consultations at the last Inter-sessional negotiating session in Panama.

BASIC countries are being targeted by developed country Parties to play a greater role in emissions reductions, and support for climate change efforts in least developed countries. In light of this positioning by developed country Parties, unity and clear-sighted goals under the UNFCCC process for BASIC will need to be retained, which include amongst others, emphasizing the commitments of developed country Parties under the UNFCCC. 

The most recent BASIC meeting was in South Africa in May 2011 and South Africa it can be expected that we will also be using this opportunity to get a better understanding of the positions and expectations of BASIC countries for the Durban Climate Conference. Furthermore, the Minister will seek to solicit the support of this influential block of countries, in ensuring that the Durban Conference reaches a successful outcome.

For further information kindly contact Mr Clayson Monyela, DIRCO Spokesman, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
www.dirco.gov.za

26 August 2011

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