Joint statement: OPEC Secretary General receives the South African Government’s Special Envoy for COP17/CMP7

The Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), His Excellency, Abdalla Salem El-Badri, has received a delegation from South Africa headed by Her Excellency, Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, the South African Government’s Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy for the UNFCCC COP17/CMP7. The visit took place on 14 November 2011 and came as South Africa prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17/CMP7) in Durban from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko and the Secretary General exchanged views on South Africa’s preparations for COP17/CMP7 and on OPEC’s expectations from the Conference. Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko stated that South Africa attaches high importance to the Conference and, with this in mind, she is conducting meetings with different Parties and observer organizations to listen to their views and expectations for the event. Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko further stated that South Africa recognizes OPEC’s global importance and its role in stabilizing world oil markets.

The Secretary General expressed the Organization’s support for the South African Presidency of COP17/CMP7. He added that OPEC and its Member Countries also regard the upcoming Conference as a very significant event – one that he hoped would deliver a win-win outcome for all the Parties. He stated that the Conference could be a success if it is transparent and inclusive and its outcome is balanced and comprehensive.

Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko stressed that South Africa is committed to ensuring  COP17/CMP7 is inclusive and transparent.

The Secretary General emphasized that it is extremely important that all the principles and provisions of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol are respected and fully taken into consideration. He added that the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period is vital for ensuring that developed countries fulfill their commitments.

Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko stated that she hoped that actionable results will be delivered by operationalizing the Cancun Agreements. She added that South Africa wanted the Durban meeting to support the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Secretary General reiterated that OPEC Member Countries are not only vulnerable to climate change, but also to the adverse impacts of response measures. He added that socio-economic development and poverty eradication remain two overriding priorities for developing countries, in general, and OPEC Member Countries, in particular.

The Secretary General also pointed out that OPEC Member Countries have been active participants in the long-standing UNFCCC negotiations since 1992 and assured Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko that OPEC will support South Africa in reaching a win-win outcome for COP17/CMP7. For this to happen, however, he stressed that the interests of OPEC Member Countries shall not be compromised or overlooked.

The South African delegation also included: His Excellency, Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations (UN) in Austria; Advocate Sandea de Wet, Chief State Law Advisor, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO); Advocate Sivu Maqungo, State Law Advisor, DIRCO; Ms Lydia Greyling, Director: Environment, DIRCO; and Ms Ilse Adonis, First Secretary: Multilateral, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN in Austria.

OPEC representatives also included: Dr. Hasan M. Qabazard, Director: Research Division; Mr.
Mohamed Hamel, Senior Advisor; and Dr. Mohammad Taeb, Environmental Coordinator.


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28 November 2011
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