Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva speaks during the opening session of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks September 28, 2009. The Bangkok talks, part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), run to October 9 and will aim to draft a long-term cooperative action to fight against global warming. [Xinhua/Reuters]
The latest round of United Nations Climate Change Talks started Monday in Bangkok as Thailand's prime minister and UN senior officials stressed the urgency in tackling this issue and called on speed-up in reaching an international new deal.
"Climate change was definitely high on everyone's agenda," said Abhisit Vejjajiva, referring to the world leaders at the UN General Assembly and G-20 Summit in U.S. in the past week, which he also attended.
The talks, falling on from September 28 to October in the Thai capital, is the forth round in 2009 that led to December's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, a conference that is scheduled to seal a new deal on climate change issue to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
While calling on the strengthened efforts by all the countries to deal with this issue, Abhisit stressed that the priority of Thailand, as for other developing countries, is to make sure that climate change does not adversely affect sustainable development, economic growth and poverty eradication.
His remarks echoed the speech by Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), who said a development-oriented solution is needed, in which the goal of limiting emissions is integrated with satisfying people's development needs.
Dr. Heyzer also summarized the achievements made during the UN summit last week that attracted nearly 100 world leaders. Those achievements, she said, include the promise of China on reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by a notable margin by 2020; a plan by Japan to reduce its emissions by 25 percent by 2020 compared to the 1990 level.
About 2,500 international delegates from 180 countries will attend the 12-day talks in Bangkok, with the goal to narrow down the 200-page draft agreement for Copenhagen to something more manageable. Along the way, the negotiations also hope to close the gap between rich and poor positions and come close to agreement on such issues as reducing deforestation and sharing climate-friendly technology.
(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2009)