Minister’ Media Conference on Climate Change and Libyan issues – 16 June 2011 (New York)

A.     June 16, 1976

Today marks the 35th Anniversary of the June 16, 1976 student revolt against Apartheid education – it is therefore fitting to salute our youths in SA and the youths of the world as agents of change.

B.     COP17/CMP7

  • as the next President of the COP17/CMP7, we are reaching-out to all parties and stakeholders in the climate change negotiations;
  • our task remains: ensure that country parties to the UNFCCC deliver an acceptable, fair, transparent and equitable deal in the upcoming climate change negotiations in Durban.
  • we had the opportunity to interact with the G77 and China, the UN Climate Change team, including a Group of Climate Friends (to share views and exchange notes);
  • we are encouraged to learn that progress is being made at the Bonn negotiations in a number of bodies of the UNFCCC;
  • we need enhanced cooperation between the UNFCCC Secretariat and the COP17/CMP7 Presidency to ensure that we deliver positive outcomes in Durban; and
  • principles of inclusivity, wide participation and transparency will continue to characterize our processes as COP17/CMP7 President;

We need to focus our un-divided attention to:

  • achieving a balance between the Bali Roadmap and operationalizing the Cancun Agreements; as well as
  • striking a balance between and within both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol negotiating tracks.

NB: The onus to deliver an acceptable climate change outcome in Durban rests on South Africa as the incoming COP17/CMP7 President, but the role of state parties cannot be over-emphasised.

NB: A Leaders Dialogue to be here in September and co-chaired by President Jacob Zuma and President Calderon of Mexico – will set the tone as we move towards Durban.

C.     LIBYA

South Africa:

- is deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict and the unprecedented loss of civilian lives in Libya;

- condemns the violence against civilians perpetrated by all parties as well as the damage to civilian infrastructure;

- calls on the international community, including the UNSC to focus its energies on finding a political solution to the Libyan crisis and not a military one;

- calls on the UN to work in collaboration with the AU on the basis of its Roadmap;

- calls for a ceasefire, a pause which will enable a political process to take root;

- maintains that Resolution 1973 was adopted to primarily to protect civilians and ensure access to humanitarian aid, and not about regime change and assassinations;

- believes the implementation of Resolution 1973 should NOT go against the letter and spirit of what was initially intended; and

- is disappointed that the UNSC was unable to agree on the

Presidential Statement today, but we nevertheless remain optimistic.


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