Press Releases

    31 October 2002


    NEW YORK, 30 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the eight Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delivered by Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, today:

    This eighth Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention is the first to take place since the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

    The consensus reached in Johannesburg has significant implications for efforts to address climate change and its adverse effects. Apart from what it has to say on the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, there are other commitments relevant to your agenda, including technical and financial support, capacity-building, dissemination of innovative technologies, systematic observation and the exchange of scientific data.

    Johannesburg also advanced the policy consensus beyond what was agreed at Rio in the area of sustainable consumption and production. This will have a major impact on energy, including renewable energy, energy markets, energy efficiency, and access to energy. In all of these areas, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation marks an important step forward. One challenge for this Conference of Parties is to consider whether, and to what extent, the approaches, goals, and methods agreed in Johannesburg are a basis for cooperation in this forum.

    COP8, like the Johannesburg Summit, marks a transition in which the focus is increasingly on implementation of what has been achieved. This encompasses many things: pclear commitments by governments on goals, targets and, where relevant, the provision of financial and technical resources; mechanisms to ensure accountability; and the constructive use of partnerships between the public and private sectors. The Kyoto Protocol involves innovative methods in all of these areas and should, when it enters into force, make a key contribution.

    At Johannesburg, I called for a greater sense of shared global responsibility. The Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol are expressions of this spirit in one critical area. We must pursue their goals, as well as the Millennium Development Goals and the quest for sustainable development, with vigour and commitment if we are to make a long-overdue investment in the survival and security of future generations. In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for a successful session.

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