News / Africa

    Meles: Durban Summit Must Salvage 'Essence of Kyoto'

    Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)
    Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)

    Africa's chief negotiator at next month's climate summit says his objective will be to salvage at least the essence of the landmark Kyoto Protocol.  Disagreements between rich and poor countries make it increasingly unlikely that the treaty will survive intact.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says Africa's official position at the climate summit in Durban, South Africa will be to insist on continuation of the Kyoto Protocol.  The treaty, which was designed to fight global warming through the limiting of so-called greenhouse gases, is due to expire next year.

    At a meeting of Africa's 10-member delegation to the summit, Meles acknowledged that the principle of saving Kyoto may be out of reach.  As head of the delegation, the Ethiopian leader said Africa will have to adopt a flexible negotiating position to ensure that at least the spirit of the protocol survives in the face of powerful opposition.

    "While we have a very clear position of principle on this matter, we are aware there are divergent opinions, and we are eager to engage all those actors on the Kyoto Protocol, with the purpose of at the very least salvaging the essence of the Kyoto Protocol," said Meles. "That will be our objective, but the means to that objective will be to engage all the key actors in Durban in a very flexible manner."

    The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is widely considered out of date as both science and the political environment have evolved over the past decade and a half.

    The United States did not ratify the original treaty, and several other powerful nations, including Canada, Japan and Russia have said they would not agree to a second period.  Given the current global financial environment, Meles indicated Tuesday's strategy conference had concluded that this is not the time for the hard positions which led to failure of previous climate summits.

    "We are going to Durban to negotiate, not to issue declarations of principle," Meles said. "So we have discussed ways of us engaging all the key actors flexibly.  But of course flexibility does not mean lack of principle.  You have to have your principle as an anchor, around which you can engage others flexibly."

    The Ethiopian leader expressed hope that a previous deal on establishing a fund to help poorer countries adapt to climate change would be kept intact.  The fund is supposed to provide up to $100 billion a year by 2020, but in the current economic environment, it has received no contributions, and there have been suggestions it should be renegotiated.

    Meles said Africa remains hopeful that what he called “such a divisive debate on finance” would not be reopened in Durban.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora