The Diplomatic Society

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Minister Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma's comments during the Presidential Dialogue on the Rio Conventions

Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Programme Director, Free State MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Mxolisi Dukwana
Minister of Science and Technology, Honourable Naledi Pandor
MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Dr Meshack Radebe
Head of the Climate Change Research Group and the South African Biodiversity Institute, Dr Guy Midgley
The World Bank Managing Director, Ms Sri Mulyani Indrawati
The CEO of the Global Environmental Facility, Ms Monique Barbut
Representatives of various governments
Members of the diplomatic corps

Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this Presidential Dialogue on the Rio Conventions on the margins of the 17th United Nations meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP17).  The High Level Segment of the Conference was opened yesterday.  It is even more incumbent upon our various country negotiators as well as leaders of our respective delegations to work towards ensuring we leave Durban with a credible outcome for the future of climate change negotiations.

Today we will also launch a collection of inspiring stories of communities who have made a difference by enhancing the power of nature.  We would all have seen copies of “Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Harnessing Synergies and Celebrating Successes.”

As we depart from our beautiful coastal city of Durban, we will be preparing for Rio+20 scheduled from 4 to 6 June 2012, in Brazil gives us an opportunity to assess progress made thus far, identify some implementation gaps and agree on solutions to address new and emerging challenges. This historic and timely meeting should move us a number of steps forward in crafting a global sustainable development agenda that responds to the emerging challenges while addressing the existing development goals and targets contained in Agenda 21, the MDGs and JPOI.

The purpose of this high level dialogue is to learn from a suite of solutions and opportunities that have proven successful to integrate climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity. Furthermore this dialogue provides a clearer understanding on the reasons behind the failure to spontaneously apply these solutions at various scales.  Such an understanding will assist in informing the processes on synergies that must be harnessed for premium development gains.   

The dialogue will entail three events led by South Africa, Brazil and India during the multilateral events that are scheduled to take place over the next twelve months, namely the UNFCCC COP 17, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20) which is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, and the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which will take place in India 2012. Each of the proposed events will focus on a slightly different aspect, under the overall theme. In this leg of events, this high level dialogue event showcases African experiences that demonstrate a clear linkage between biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and poverty alleviation in Africa. In Rio, Brazil, the event will focus on the Latin America experience, while the India event will focus on showcasing the Asian experience.

All of these have casual link with the Rio+20 which is organized under the banner of the two themes namely; green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and Intuitional framework for sustainable development. Therefore, discussions in preparation for the RIO + 20 event should aim at formulating concrete inputs on these thematic areas.  The bottom line is the need for efficiencies and ensuring the functional and efficient institutional framework that will ensure cohesion and collaboration of efforts without duplication.

Sustainable development is probably the most daunting challenge that humanity has ever faced, and achieving it requires that the fundamental issues be addressed immediately at the local, regional and global levels. A Sustainable Development and Green Economy paradigm will require integrated strategies and plans that effectively balance economic, environmental and social development objectives both economy-wide and at sector level to ensure coherence and relevance. This delicate balance will require a carefully crafted policy framework and institutional framework that is geared towards practical action and delivery.

Opportunities for action include:

·         Substantial growth in investment necessary to achieve climate change mitigation & adaptation

·         Increasing recognition that clean technology development offers significant business opportunities and gains

·         A  growing need to develop / elaborate the economic case for environmental management and sustainable development

·         Realization that Functioning ecosystems underpin all economic and social activity and that Ecosystem failure will seriously compromise our ability to address social and economic priorities even in a short term

·         Natural resources are national economic assets and that most economies, particularly the South African economy depends heavily  on energy and mineral resources, biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism

·         There is a growing need for elaborating the economic case for environmental management and sustainable development though valuation of ecosystem goods and services and appreciation of how functioning ecosystems underpin economic and social development.

I wish you well during your remaining stay in our beautiful city of Durban and as you go towards Rio+20.

I thank you



February 2017 Edition

 border = 0


start stop bwd fwd

Police Action for IDSA members 15 February 2017 Commander Chris Opperman, of the Tshwane Metro Police, and his team attended IDSA's January coffee meeting hosted by Champa Weerasekara, of Sri... <|> Kazakhstan is shifting to a new model of power distribution The President of Kazakhstan, Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the nation on 25 January 2017 regarding the issue of redistribution of... <|> Algeria to get a taste of SA culture 14 February 2017 Algerians will get an opportunity to sample South Africa’s artistic talent when the cultural seasons is launched in that country on 24... <|> Children’s hospital designed by children 15 February 2017 The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) in Johannesburg South Africa has taken every care to make sure that sick children have... <|> Najm us Saqib’s novel 'BAOO' launched in South Africa 12 February 2017 Mr Najm us Saqib, High Commissioner of Pakistan in South Africa has launched his book 'BAOO' in Pretoria. This is the first... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Shaping the global order – foreign policy beyond crisis management 17 February 2017 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane concluded a successful... <|> South Africa-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership 19 February 2017 International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has concluded a successful working visit to Beijing... <|> Redistribution of Powers: New Stage of Kazakhstan’s Democracy Development 23 February 2017 By the end of February 2017 the project on constitutional reform in Kazakhstan will be presented for... <|> Red Cross Humanitarian Diplomacy:  Providing  Humanitarian Relief for 150 years By Srimal Fernando Global EditorThe Diplomatic Society  Looking back at the past  hundred... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.