Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Chairman

G-77 Ready for Real Negotiations on Kyoto Protocol in Bonn; U.S. Unilateralism Criticized

Chairman Calls Says the 10-Year Process Should Continue Towards Final Success

UNITED NATIONS (10 July 2001) – With the climate change negotiations on the Kyoto protocol to resume in Bonn, Germany, in less the a week, the Chairman of the Group of 77 (G-77) emphasized the readiness of the developing world to engage in real, substantive negotiations with all other partners. Ambassador Bagher Asadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Chairman of the Group, reiterated today that the developing countries go to Bonn ready to engage in a two-week long intensive parley expected to complete the work left unfinished in the Hague last November.

“The recent two-day informal consultations in the Hague under Minister Jan Pronk of the Netherlands was a very useful exercise, serving to further elucidate and clarify the respective positions of all the negotiating partners, including the developing countries, on Minister Pronk’s updated text,” said Chairman Asadi. “Despite what appears to be rather wide divergences between the developing and the developed world on the implementation of various provisions of the Protocol the G-77 has a realistic and objective optimism about the outcome. Even though there exists a current state of uncertainty and confusion, the requisite political will, a sense of urgency, and needed flexibility can make the meeting in Bonn a success.”

Reflecting on the recent US policy on withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, the Chairman of the G-77 reiterated the Group’s already stated position on the validity of the Protocol as an international legal instrument and emphasized that unilateral withdrawal from multilateral processes was simply unacceptable. He noted that the United States is the world’s biggest emitter of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and should act responsibly towards its international and multilateral commitments. Chiding recent American policy pronouncements in this regard over the past few months, Chairman Asadi expressed concern as to the negative repercussions of such unilateral approaches for other multilateral processes.

“I find it rather ironic that the new Republican Administration’s policy towards the 1997 Protocol is tantamount to the rejection of some of the mechanisms and provisions inspired and promoted by American negotiators in the process,” said the G-77 Chairman. “I call on world public opinion, particularly the American public, to keep their pressure on the Administration in Washington not to default on fulfilling its commitment with regard to global environmental deterioration.”

The G-77 Chairman also emphasized that the G-77’s readiness for substantive negotiations with its developed partners depended on genuine and substantial progress on the Group’s priorities. These areas include financial mechanisms, technology transfer, adaptation, capacity-building and Articles 4.8, 4.9 and 3.14. The Chairman said that if these objectives are not met, no progress should be envisaged.

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