COP18 an opportunity to make history, says outgoing president

 27 Nov 2012 - 3:12


Maite Nkoana-Mashabane during her speech.Salim Matramkot

DOHA: Doha should avoid taking “a big step backwards, and concentrate on the need to move forward with the 2020 perspective,” said the outgoing COP president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Mashabane, who is also Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa, said it is vital for the Doha meet to move forward in facing climate change challenges.

She cited an African proverb highlighting the need for multilateral cooperation within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk with others,” she said.

It is imperative to also move forward with restrictions to emissions, a task that for which “financial support is crucial”. On this basis, she said that the agreements to be reached in Qatar have to comprise transparency.

For Nkoana-Mashabane, COP18 is another opportunity to make history once again by opening a new chapter that will lead us beyond 2020. She encouraged delegations to mark the beginning of a “new era of operation, and focus our minds first on the implementation of the agreements and second on laying the ground work for the future”. 

She said that “we have to be able to come together here, because we keep coming back year, after year, to engage in this difficult process”. 

The Southafrican minister said: “we owe it to our children to solve this issue”. On this point, she wished all the participants a success, particularly to the incoming presidency, because our future is linked to each other for our survival. The Peninsula