Monday, April 28, 2008

South North Dialogue Series: Building Capacities on Climate Change

South Centre brought together delegates from the developed and the developing world on Aril 16, 2008 as part of its South - North Dialogue Series (SNDS) initiative. Participants from the North included those from Norway, Switzerland, Germany and France while from the South it included delegates from Maldives, Mexico, China, Indonesia and Philippines; and some NGO's like Third World Network, ICTSD, IGSD and E3G Third Generation Environmentalism.

This SNDS initiative was aimed at strengthening the participation of developing countries in climate change negotiations and to forge an alliance with developed partners in capacity building, financing and technology transfer. The event was organized in the light of the ongoing Bangkok talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The perspective of the developed countries was summarized by H.E. Mrs. Marie-Louise Overvad, Ambassador of Denmark, who acknowledged the higher responsibility of the North in climate change "mitigation" and "adaptation" and its moral obligation to help developing countries counter the adverse effects of global warming.

From the South, H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia, emphasized the importance of political partnerships and active involvement of all nations, if the hard-won victory in Bali is to survive and deliver.

Mrs. Bernarditas Muller, a senior negotiator from the Philippines (and now the G-77) on climate change and South Centre advisor, elaborated on the role of capacity strengthening as a cross-cutting issue which should be demand-driven and tailored to fit the needs of developing countries instead of simply being imported from the North experience. A lot has been achieved in Bali and political will and efforts should be channelled through the UNFCCC avenue rather than splitting resources and creating alternative venues for action.

The Event concluded with a common agreement that whatever capacity-building and financing should happen on climate change, should be under the Convention.