Statement by COP17/CMP7 President, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to the media, ICC Durban, 30 November 2011

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you for joining us this afternoon on the third day of COP17/CMP7.

From an organisational perspective, the conference is proceeding well. Discussions are proceeding as planned and the environment is conducive for constructive engagements.

I have held extensive formal and informal consultations with Parties in various settings prior to the commencement of this important Conference.

I intend to continue with these consultations in an open and transparent way as the negotiations progress, not only to keep Parties fully informed, but also for myself to get a sense of where special attention is required before it becomes a problem.

Durban can take two central, decisive steps to make the world more climate-resilient and to put it on a low-carbon path.

One set of tasks relates to how governments will work together to achieve their common goal of limiting the global temperature rise to a level which can prevent the worst ravages of climate change.

This means answering the very important question of the future of the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is the main multilateral system where states cooperate to address climate change. Durban is a decisive moment for the future of this multilateral rules-based regime.

The 1st Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol is coming to an end in 2012. The Parties link discussions on a 2nd Commitment Period with Durban adopting a roadmap towards a multilateral rules-based framework engaging all Parties.

The other major decisive step, or basket of tasks, relates to completing what was agreed last year at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

I am pleased to report that this week, clear progress is being made on the institutions that were agreed in Cancun.

Discussions have been underway on the Technology Mechanism to promote climate-friendly and adaptation-related technologies. This can hopefully be completed here in Durban so that it can begin benefitting people as of next year.

For the Technology Mechanism, the focus is now on the “how and what” of who will host the Climate Technology Centre and Network, for example, the criteria for selection.

The Adaptation Framework agreed in Mexico to coordinate and structure adaptation to climate change at an international level is also being constructed.

And discussions on a Green Climate Fund to help financially support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries will begin today…as will the first meeting on the Adaptation Committee.

I would encourage you to follow the discussions notably on the Green Climate Fund that will take place as of 15:00 in plenary today.

Thank you.
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