by Ambassador Bagher Asadi,
Chairman of the Group of 77 (Islamic Republic of Iran)
at the Press Conference at the United Nations Headquarters
New York, 2 August 2001
Good Morning. Let me welcome you all to this Press Conference on the outcome of the recent Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Well, there has been a lot of news and press coverage on the Bonn meeting and the agreement reached there on the fate of the Kyoto Protocol.
There is not much that I could tell you about the situation prior to and during the Conference, or even about the outcome itself. Now, everybody knows everything. What I am going to tell you today is on the significance of the agreement and what it contains. And, of course, on the role of the Group of 77 in this process.
The very essence of the Bonn achievement is a political one. That is, the entire international community resolved to save a decade-old hard-won multilateral process despite the withdrawal of the United States. The message is clear. As Minister Pronk, President of the Resumed COP-6 put it : global problems require global, multilateral solutions. Viewed as such, the Bonn outcome is indeed a very welcome development, with important and far-reaching implications for other multilateral processes. The very visible, expressed satisfaction across the world with this political agreement on the fate of the embattled Protocol clearly indicates that the international community, both governmental and non-governmental, appreciates the inherent meaning of the development in Bonn.
From a more technical point of view, this overall political agreement contains the following major components:
on concrete frameworks for the further implementation of the Climate Change
Convention to be precise, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Agreement on frameworks for the design and definition of rules, operational guidelines and principles governing the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol as well as a compliance regime. This political agreement, once details are completed in the next meeting in Marrakesh in November this year, would pave the way for the ratification of the Protocol.
The agreement in the Bonn Conference, which I characterized as an honourable deal in my remarks at the meeting soon after the gavel came down, managed to bring all relevant parties and partners both developed and developing, of course, with the exception of one - to the table and let them leave generally satisfied. As for what was achieved for the developing countries, I can refer to the following major elements:
on a comprehensive framework for capacity-building in developing countries;
Agreement on concrete mechanisms for transfer of technology to developing countries;
Agreement on the establishment of three new funds for the developing countries;
Agreement on measures to minimize the adverse effects of climate change and the impacts of response measures (for countries under Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention and 3.14 of the Protocol);
Agreement on additional guidance to Global Environmental Facility (GEF); and
Inclusion of the proposed principles by the developing countries in texts relating to Mechanisms, Compliance and LULUCF.
Moreover, as you are aware, the European Union, together with Canada, Japan and Switzerland, made a joint Political Declaration, committing themselves to the provision of 410 million dollars per year to the funding mechanisms.
Now, let me turn to the role played by the Group of 77 in the process leading to this important international event. Again, on this too, you know everything. But, let me just emphasize a number of points.
Group of 77 expressed its dissatisfaction with the American unilateral approach
and policy towards the Kyoto Protocol since early April and underlined the importance
of universal engagement of all members of the international community in this
multilateral process, especially in this globalizing world;
Framed as such, the Group made known to all negotiating partners its willingness and preparedness for active engagement and serious negotiation to finish the unfinished work in the Hague last November;
The Group entered the Bonn meeting with the expressed intention of active and proactive dialogue and cooperation with the North, and with the expressed objective of extending a helping hand to the international community to make Bonn a success;
The Group also made it known that as the biggest negotiating block it simply cannot be expected to join any agreement to be worked out among others;
With these overall guiding principles, and with a sense of objectivity, realism and the all-necessary ingredient of flexibility, the Group of 77 and China - which has been deeply involved in the entire preparatory process - actively participated in the intense negotiations in Bonn during the high-level ministerial segment, between 19 and 22 of July. The Group´s consent with the package that emerged after a sleepless night of marathon meetings, made the Bonn agreement possible. What transpired in Bonn was the manifestation of genuine North-South cooperation in the context of multilateral, intergovernmental processes and I should add, in a very transparent manner. It should augur well for the future work of the Group of 77 and its relations with others. It was a good process and a good outcome, and a solid basis to build upon. Briefly put, that should suffice for the role played by the Group of 77.
With these introductory words, and thanking you for the patience, let me now take questions from the floor.