Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Brazilian text well-received, oceans still not resolved

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor

Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo

18 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro - Hours before leaders start arriving into Rio de Janeiro for the High Level Segment of the Rio+20 conference, Brazil, as host is exhausting every possible means to get a broad agreement on a text that will form the outcomes document on Friday.

Speaking to journalists, Brazil’s climate change advisor, Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo was upbeat about the level of acceptance of the Brazilian text, introduced to negotiators last Saturday.
“At this stage, we are moving smoothly through the thematic areas of the text. There have been some hurdles but we have managed to overcome some of them, said Ambassador Figuereido.

The only contentious issues that needs more work are in the ‘oceans’ and means of implementation (MOI)’ text.

“In the coming few hours, we have to fine tune these controversial issues and we are absolutely positive that a text agreed to by all parties will be ready before world leaders arrive for the High Level Segment, which begins Wednesday

In the oceans negotiations, the United States has introduced a ‘compromise’ text recommending that the 68th United Nations General Assembly, with respect to enhanced implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), consider developing a multilateral agreement to address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Ambassador Figueiredo said ‘oceans is an area that will require more intense negotiation efforts.’

Currently, 20 out of the 287 paragraphs in the Brazilian text now negotiated covers oceans. Most of the oceans paragraphs have been resolved except for paragraphs 163 and 169, where there are many differences mostly between the United States, the European Union and the G77 and China group.

Using a parallel between a soccer match and the negotiations, the Brazilian climate change advisor said ‘we are now on extra time’ and ‘the game will come to an end soon.’

“The time of the match has expired and we are now into extension time. We don’t have much time longer.”

Another issue that will need to be resolved before the text is finalised is the proposal by G77 and China to establish a sustainable development funding mechanism with multiple donors from both public and private sector interests. Negotiators are still trying to find a common position on the form on this proposed multilateral mechanism.

The Secretary General of the Rio+20 conference, Sha Zukang, in a statement read to journalists said he was happy to see the great response to the Brazilian text.

“The negotiations have gone smoothly and are nearing completion. It is really through the accelerated and dynamic process put in place by our hosts, the government of Brazil.

“While there are minor adjustments to be made, I am encouraged that the text has been well received, said Zukang.

He urged Parties to show flexibility in the spirit of compromise to deliver the future we want for the globe.

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