Saturday, Nov 02, 2002
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By R.K. Radhakrishnan
Asked if there were any winners at the end of the eighth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he said all were winners.
"All the parties to the conference are winners. There are no losers as far as the Delhi Declaration is concerned."
After having managed a consensus declaration at the fag end of the conference, he told the press here today that the conference had identified that "sustainable development will be a success only if we address climate change".
The concerns expressed by all groups have been addressed in the declaration.
The United States Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative, Harlan L.Watson, described the declaration as a great consensus document.
"We are quite satisfied with this since the CoP presidency has tried to include everyone's views,'' he told The Hindu.
Asked if the U.S. found everything it wanted to in the declaration, he said that in a consensus document this was not possible.
"Everyone would have wanted something more (in a paragraph) or something less. But on the whole it has a very good balance,'' Dr. Watson added.
Steen Gade, representative of the Danish Presidency which heads the European Union, said there was no reason to be confident about the U.S. stand.
"Everyone knows that the E.U. is doing a lot (to reverse the trend of climate change). Everyone knows that the U.S. is doing nothing," he said.
Canada and the European Union expressed unhappiness over the declaration, even as they hoped that the outstanding issues would be addressed in the next conference.
Canada said the highpoint of the declaration was that the preservation of multilateralism as a process of resolving issues, but regretted that all the discussions at the plenary did not find reflection in the document.
Also, the third IPCC report had not been accorded the importance it deserved.
The EU said it would have been disastrous not to have a declaration.
"We have had one at every CoP. It would have been a big failure not to have one. A failure would have been disastrous for the Russian ratification,'' said Thomas Becker, the E.U. delegation deputy chief.
The British seemed pleased though.
"The planet and people have won," said Margrett Beckett, Environment Secretary, when asked if there were any winners in the conference.
Asked to comment on this, Mr. Becker said that this was indeed true since the process had not broken down.
The Saudi Arabian representative, Mohammed Salem Sorour Al Sabban, described the declaration as forward-looking.
"The ball is now in the court of the Annex-1countries now,'' he said and added that before talking about the responsibilities of developing countries, the developed countries should fulfil their obligations.
Venezuela, head of the G-77/China group, thanked the chair for the positive declaration.
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