Ahimsa Kibikibi,NBC, Climate Pasifika
Sunday 13 December 2009, COPENHAGEN--Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare arrrives to join climate change talks in Copenhagen this week and will present the country’s position to the umbrella group the Alliance of Small Islands States.
PNG’s chief negotiator, Kevin Conrad bluntly stated in Saturday’s plenary session that PNG does not support the AOSIS proposed Copenhagen Protocol. His reaction caught AOSIS members off guard.
TRANSCRIPT: “There were some delegations that held out that there was a proposal by AOSIS, Papua New Guinea does not support this we believe there is a draft document, a non-paper that should be considered,” he said. While delegates from other smaller Pacific Islands expressed anger and disappointment to this move, PNG delegate Joe Pokana agrees with Conrad, stating that the non-paper was already initially agreed upon, even though the new proposal builds on strenghtening of the Kyoto Protcol and the implementation of the Bali Action Plan.
Pokana said PNG is adamant that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Deforestation or REDD, a scheme that will see forest owners be paid for avoiding deforestation, be officially recognised and endorsed in the text by the United Nations,
And that it will be up to Sir Michael, head of the PNG delegation to take this up this week during the high level segment, before the conclusion of talks on Friday the 18th of December. Meantime, AOSIS members are also awaiting an explanation for PNG's timing, because it had room to comment and make changes in the groups two daily meetings held in closed sessions throughout the week.TRANSCRIPT: “ We are depending on the Prime Minister now to deliver in the second week, our position and hopefully we get some attention and carry on what we are fighting for,” he said. It is not sure how AOSIS will deal with this situation or if members can withdraw or be expelled.--ENDS