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Cancuún México 29 de noviembre - 10 de diciembre 
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Informal meeting of the President : Statement by Her Excellency, Mrs. Patricia Espinosa, COP16/CMP6 President


Cancun, Quintana Roo, D.F., 5 December 2010

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for your participation in this informal stock-taking meeting. I appreciate your willingness to work with us so that we all have a clear and precise view of the steps that we’ll be taking together on the next few days. I am grateful to the Secretariat –especially to our friends of the plenary team, conference services, the interpreters, and the local production personnel– for agreeing to be here on Sunday. This formally is, after all, our only day without meetings during these two weeks of negotiation.

I have promised to be brief, and will do my best. I have also stated that I do not intend to address issues of substance and will focus on the organization of work. The scheme I will present follows what we have agreed upon with the Chairs of the Working Groups, after valuable conversations with the coordinators of the negotiating groups and in close consultation with the Secretariat.

Allow me to express to you, once again, that all of us are fully aware of and respect the fact that this is a two-track process and will continue to maintain balance within and between each of them.

No international conference can succeed without there being confidence among the parties and in the process itself. We believe that, after much hard work by all, current conditions should allow –indeed must allow– for the reaching of understandings. This is in no small measure due to a commitment by all to transparency and inclusiveness, principles that the Mexican Presidency will continue to honor throughout.

Ministerial-level representatives from all over the world are already in Cancun. Yesterday I offered a welcoming dinner to them, in which no papers were distributed and no negotiations took place. Starting today, however, the presence of high-level officials must be capitalized, as they can provide the necessary political guidance to push forth on several key issues.

To ensure that this is done in an effective and immediate manner, I have asked some of my colleagues to support my efforts and those of Working Groups. I have asked them to carry out consultations in order to help us identify the areas where solutions may lay, and thus to lead to further progress. Allow me to stress this central point: Ministers have very kindly agreed to contribute to the work that is already under way, in which we have made important progress but still require political decisions to be taken in order to forge ahead. This is what we heard yesterday from Ms. Margaret Mukahanana and from Ambassador John Ashe.

Ministers will not be expected to draft compromise language, but to help identify where balance is to be found. Ministers will not convene informal sessions of any sort, but will instead approach every delegation they believe ought to be consulted at each specific moment and remain accessible to all. Ministers will not limit their contacts to other ministers, but will be open to dialogue with all and they will reach out to the representatives that each party has decided to appoint. Ministers will not relief the Chairs of their responsibilities in any way, but will support their efforts to resolve matters that have so far not advanced in a more formal setting.

I have approached pairs of ministers, one from a developing country and one from a developed country, who I know would greatly benefit our effort by focusing on specific matters. I hope their agendas allow them to undertake this task. Sweden and Grenada could help on matters related to shared vision; Spain and Algeria on adaptation; Australia and Bangladesh on finance, technology and capacity building; New Zealand and Indonesia on mitigation, including MRV, and the United Kingdom and Brazil on items under the Kyoto Protocol. Other ministers, among them those from Ecuador, Singapore, Norway and Switzerland could support on other specific issues as they arise.

As I stated yesterday, there will be no separate or parallel Ministerial process, no selective segmentation of issues, and no duplication of negotiations. The Mexican Presidency will help facilitate communication among ministers, through constant dialogue with all, with the Chairs, with the groups, and with individual delegations. We will also assist Ms. Mukahanana and Amb. Ashe in their always capable coordination of the efforts within each group. Once again, I must state that there is no hidden text and no secret negotiations. The Mexican Presidency will continue to work with full transparency and according to established United Nations procedures.

Dear friends,

One week into the process, the conditions are in place to reach a broad and balanced package of decisions that leads to an era of increasingly effective global action on climate change. However, the positive outcome that our societies demand is still not complete. We must continue working with a renewed sense of urgency. I believe we can complete the package, or at the very least to make significant advances, before the opening of the high-level segment on Tuesday afternoon.

The process we have identified seeks to simultaneously take advantage of the positive results ministerial participation can bring and of the inclusiveness and technical capacity that the formal negotiating environment can provide. I am optimistic that we will move forward very quickly in the next two days. We could then meet again to evaluate the progress we have made. I will fulfill my responsibility of closely monitoring the state of our discussions and proposing the further steps that might be required so that we can reach our goals.

Thank you very much for your support, your confidence in Mexico’s role in these negotiations, and your commitment to addressing this global challenge.

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