" ITREALMS: COP-17: South Africa hosting to leverage ICT4D


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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

COP-17: South Africa hosting to leverage ICT4D

*Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

As Africa warms up to host the world at the city of Durban, South Africa for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) otherwise known as Conference of the Parties (COP-17), the South African government would leverage on Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).

This was disclosed recently by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for the Republic of South Africa Madam Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in a chat with some foreign journalists in her office as part of the preparation for the COP 17.

According to the incoming COP-17 president,  there is need to ensure that the decisions made at COP-16 in Cancun last year are operationalised, which include the need to establish the institutions such as the 
Adaptation Committee, Technology Executive Committee, Standing Committee on Finance.

She said these committees, for instance if put in place and made operational, would assist greatly in building confidence in the multilateral process.

She noted that the adaptation framework must undertake the matching of actions with finance and technology, while recognizing that adaptation needs for developments countries depends on emission reduction ambition of all parties.

Nkoana-Mashabane also called for understanding of all parties as COP-17 under her leadership would strive for a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious result in Durban conference due to hold between November 28 and December 9, this year.

The minister reassured the team of Brand South African tour that in her capacity, she would spare no effort to make sure that parties to the convention find common ground and that they are able to agree on an outcome that is fair, transparent and credible.

In terms of logistic preparations for COP 17, she said that South Africa’s hosting of the conference is on track and progressing well.

“We are on top of all aspects of what goes into organizing an event of this magnitude; from accommodation and venue to security and protocol support,” she assured.

She said that Africa as a whole expect a highly successful event and outcomes that will make a meaningful impact on the mutual efforts in building a new future in a new world.

“Only in this manner can we truly realize our theme of ‘Working Together, Saving Tomorrow Today,” she asserted.

Equally speaking during a joint breakfast session, the Managing Director of the Banking Association of South Africa, Mr. Cas Coovadia, said that all hands are on deck to ensure that COP 17 is successful.

Pointing out that there is a joint effort at ensuring that COP 17 is successfully hosted, noting that issues on the agenda would include finance for the emerging countries, technology development and transfer as well as links between technology transfer, finance and capacity building, particularly related to the institutional arrangements agreed in Cancun.

He expressed hope that there would be a balance between adaption and mitigation in addition to addressing the Kyoto protocol.

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