Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concludes successful Visit to the Republic of Panama

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane today, 04 October 2011, concluded a successful visit to the Republic of Panama, where she held consultations with a variety of groupings and stakeholders taking part in an important meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane undertook the Panama visit in her capacity as incoming President of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UNFCCC and the seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7), which is to take place in Durban from 28 November to 09 December 2011.

Amongst other activities on her first day in Panama, 03 October 2011, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane signed the Host Country Agreement on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa with the UNFCCC Secretariat for South Africa’s hosting of the COP17/CMP7 in Durban.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also met with members of the Bureau of the UNFCCC and held consultations with representatives of the European Union, the Umbrella Group and the Environmental Integrity Group. The consultations continued today, 04 October 2011, with representatives of the Africa Group as well as the G77 and China.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “I am really encouraged by the attitude of the parties and the groupings here in Panama. They are saying to me as the incoming President of the COP that they want Durban to be a success. They also indicated to me that they have already started working on draft text that would guide the negotiations in Durban.”

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane added: “My role as the incoming President of the COP is to encourage the parties to talk to one another and to find common ground.

The Minister further said: “I am confident that by the time this meeting concludes on 07 October 2011, a clear picture would have emerged of the nature of the balanced, fair and credible outcome that Parties want Durban to produce.”

The various Parties and groupings that Minister Nkoana-Mashabane met expressed appreciation to the Minister as the incoming President of COP17/CMP7, saying the effort to reach out to the Parties would go a long way in encouraging open dialogue.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Pretoria

04 October 2011

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