OPENING STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMB. BYRON BLAKE, DELEGATION OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, AT THE OPENING PLENARY OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON LONG-TERM COOPERATIVE ACTION (AWGLCA) OF THE UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (Bonn, Germany, 2 June 2008)
Mr. Chairman the Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Government and people of The Federal Republic of Germany for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for our meetings. We look forward to fruitful and productive discussions and work over the next 2 weeks as we strive to, inter alia, advance the mission of the Bali Action Plan.
The Group would also like to take this opportunity to express our heart felt sympathy to the Government and people of Myanmar and the peoples Republic of China, both countries, members of our group, who have experienced the impacts of terrible natural disasters within the past month. Our thoughts are with them even as the effects continue to take their toll.
Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China looks forward to your continued, able leadership on this very important work and during the discussion of issues over the next two weeks. We pledge our support and hope that all parties will continue to work in a constructive spirit to ensure that the much-needed progress is realized.
Mr. Chairman at the outset, the group would like to remind all parties that this process is mandated to "launch a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012." As such we wish to reiterate that the AWGLCA builds upon and compliments other processes under the Convention but does not replace them.
Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China appreciates the efforts, which have been made and continues to insist that all our work be carried out in a coherent, integrated, open and transparent manner, allowing sufficient time for coordination within groups. In this regard it will be absolutely critical that no additional activities be scheduled in parallel, given the four (4) streams of meetings here in Bonn and the small size of many delegations of developing countries. The need for commitment to maintaining the integrity of the Bali Process cannot be over emphasized.
Mr. Chairman, in the consideration of how we intend to organize the work program for 2009 the Group of 77 and China would like to stress the urgency of the work that needs to be conducted. Mr. Chairman, the Bali Decision mandates the AWGLCA to develop a work programme in a "coherent and integrated" manner. In conforming to this mandate, the Group of 77 and China is of the view that due regard should be given to the special needs and circumstances of the most vulnerable countries, in particular the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other groups vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
Chair, in our deliberations this week, it is important that our work be guided by the principles of the Convention and Parties' obligation to "protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities." In this regard, the Convention mandates developed country Parties to take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects.
The transition to undertaking more focused work; leading to negotiations on the elements of the Bali Action Plan is welcomed by the Group of 77 and China however this transition should ensure the balanced participation of all parties. The Group understands that this process is party driven and is committed to contributing fully to all discussions aspects of the work.
Thank Mr. Chairman.