6 October 2011
International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has described this week’s climate talks in Panama, in preparation for the upcoming UN climate summit in Durban, as successful.
Nkoana-Mashabane visited Panama in her capacity as incoming president of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place in Durban from 28 November to 9 December.
She met with members of the Bureau of the UNFCCC and held consultations with representatives of the European Union, the Umbrella Group, Environmental Integrity Group, Africa Group, as well as the G77 and China.
“I am really encouraged by the attitude of the parties and the groupings here in Panama,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. “They are saying to me … that they want Durban to be a success.
“They also indicated to me that they have already started working on a draft text that would guide the negotiations in Durban,” the minister said, adding that her role as the incoming president of the COP was to encourage the parties to talk to each another to find common ground.
Those who met with the minister expressed their appreciation to her as the incoming president of COP17, saying that reaching out to the parties would go a long way in encouraging open dialogue.
While in Panama, Nkoana-Mashabane also signed the host country agreement with the UNFCCC secretariat for South Africa’s hosting of the Durban event.