Media release

Government on opening day of COP17/CMP7

28 November 2011

28 November 2011

The South African government notes with pride the successful start to the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban today, November 28 2011, and is confident that this has set the tone for the rest of this important international gathering.

Government wishes to add its voice to the warm welcome extended to delegates by President Zuma earlier today in his official opening address to the Conference and endorses the President's stated wish that parties to the Conference should strive to find solutions in Durban that will build on the good work done in Cancun, Mexico, at the COP16/CMP6.

Government also wishes to underline the President's expectation that the outcome of the Durban Conference should be "balanced, fair and credible", and see to the operationalization of the Cancun agreement, taking forward the Kyoto Protocol and providing funding to address the impacts of climate change.

Furthermore, government congratulates the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as President of the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane's appointment reflects the esteem in which South Africa is held by the international community. The Minister's appointment affords South Africa an opportunity to provide global leadership as negotiators address the challenge of climate change and attempt to secure a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

Government wishes all delegates and observers well in their deliberations and thanks all those in government and the private sector who facilitated delegates' entry into the country safely.

Government also thanks the United Nations for the constructive spirit in which it has collaborated with South Africa in the arrangements for the Conference.
We invite visitors to use available time to explore KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa in greater depth, as South Africa looks forward to welcoming delegates on future visits.

For enquiries, please contact:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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