Tajik president leaves for Copenhagen to join UN climate change summit




December 15, 2009, Victoria Naumova



President Emomali Rahmon today afternoon left for Copenhagen to join the UN climate change summit, according to presidential press service.


Rahmon is scheduled to deliver a statement at the summit and hold a number of bilateral meetings in Copenhagen.


State Adviser to the President for International Affairs Erkin Rahmatulloyev and Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi are accompanying the president on this trip.


Governmental representatives from 170 countries accompanied by other governmental representative, NGO's, journalists and others have been attending the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen that was launched on December 6 and runs till December 18.


The closing stages of the UN conference is being attended by 105 world leaders who will try to seal a deal after years of bitter debates over how to divide up the burden of emissions curbs and who should pay.


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, Mr. Yvo de Boer, said that the Copenhagen climate negotiations must yield an ambitious, sweeping agreement to capitalize on pledges by countries to fight global warming.


In the meantime, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on December 14 that the world stood at the crossroads between a sustainable future and a path to catastrophe, the UN News Center reported.


“Now is the moment to act,” he told a news conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York ahead of the culmination later this week of the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, where some 115 heads of State and government, including the leaders of the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States, will gather to hopefully seal the deal on an agreement.


Mr. Ban appealed to negotiators to redouble their efforts, find room for compromise and make a final push.  “If everything is left to leaders to resolve at the last minute, we risk having a weak deal – or no deal at all. And this would be a failure of potentially catastrophic consequence,” he said.


UN officials have said there are three key layers of action that governments must agree to in the course of the Copenhagen summit: fast and effective implementation of immediate action on climate change; ambitious commitments to cut and limit emissions, including start-up funding and a long-term funding commitment; and a long-term shared vision on a low-emissions future for all.


The UN Secretary-General acknowledged that the negotiations are difficult and complex – “among the most ambitious ever to be undertaken by the world community” – and noted the strong passions and hard bargaining under way.


Mr. Ban also announced that he would appoint Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai as a Messenger for Peace on climate change, calling her “an excellent choice” in light of her long record of achievement in environmental conservation and sustainable development.