COP17 kicks off in Durban #COP17
28 November 2011
The opening ceremony was attended by the South African President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kaglema Motlanthe, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and newly appointed President of COP17/CMP7 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres and many other dignitaries.
Outgoing COP16 President Patricia Espinosa urged all delegates in her outgoing speech at the opening ceremony of COP17 that in Durban there should be three issues that needs to be addressed. The first one is the full implementation of the Cancun agreement, secondly come to a financial agreement concerning the green climate fund and thirdly define the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and newly appointed President of COP17/CMP7 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in her speech at the COP17 opening ceremony said questions from Bali can't be left unanswered; otherwise negotiations are going to be difficult.
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres addressing delegates at COP17 Figueres said COP17 in Durban needs to reassure the vulnerable and the people already affected by climate change that tangible action is being taken both in adaptation and mitigation.
President Jacob Zuma in his speech at the COP17 said that climate change is an urgent problem and asked countries to work towards an outcome that is balanced, fair and credible. Zuma also stated that climate change cannot be separated from fighting poverty in South Africa. The President was also very optimistic in stating that with sound leadership nothing is impossible in the next two weeks in Durban.