President Zuma opens COP 17 with call for a balanced, fair and credible outcome
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa.;
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President Jacob Zuma of South Africa opened the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) Monday 28 November in Durban, South Africa with a call on delegates to arrive at a fair, balanced and credible outcome at the end of negotiations. Addressing the delegates directly, President Zuma said: “looking at your faces, you actually carry the solution.” He called climate change the most serious challenge facing the globe at the moment and should be treated as a holistic sustainable development challenge. He said the negotiations for a post-Kyoto agreement had become protracted as many countries and regions of the world view the situation differently. He gave an example of the Small Island State of Kiribati, that has declared an emergency as climate change is now making the entire Island uninhabitable and has asked for help with an entire evacuation. The opening ceremony was also addressed by the President of Chad, Idriss Deby; and attended by the deputy president of South Africa, Kgalema Motlhanthe, the vice president of Angola, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, and many ministers and ambassadors from around the world. The South African minister for International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has been elected the chairperson for COP 17. The conference will last for two weeks and the high-level segment, which starts on 6 December, will also be attended by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and many heads of state and government.