G77, China calls for attention to climate change

Updated: 2011-07-21 07:28


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UNITED NATIONS - Climate change needs to be dealt with by the international community, but that care should be taken that it is dealt with in the appropriate international fora, Jorge Arguelo, permanent representative of Argentina to the UN, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 (G77) and China said here Wednesday.

His statement came at a Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security and the impact of climate change.

"We strongly reiterate our expectation that the initiative of the council to hold this debate does not create a precedent that undermines the authority or mandate of the relevant bodies, processes, and instruments that already address these issues in all their complexities," Arguelo said.

Arguelo emphasized that the 15-member Security Council's mandate under the UN Charter is the maintenance of international peace and security.

"On the hand, other issues, including those related to economic and social development, are assigned by the charter to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to the General Assembly," he said.

"The ever-increasing encroachment by the Security Council on the roles and responsibilities of other principal organs of the United Nations represents a distortion of the principles and purposes of the charter, infringes on their authority and compromises the general membership of the United Nations," said the ambassador.

Arguelo said that the G77 and China have underlined the importance of keeping the work of the UN's main organs within their respective mandates.

"The relevant bodies in the field of sustainable development are the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and their relevant subsidiary bodies including the Commission on Sustainable Development and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)," he added.

Arguelo said that for addressing the challenge of climate change, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum.

The 17th conference to the parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC will meet later this year in Durban, South Africa, where negotiations will take place with the goal of cutting carbon emissions worldwide and offering opportunities to adapt to a changing climate.

"Let me emphasize that there is a strong case for developed countries' emission reduction and mitigation actions to avoid adverse impacts of climate change," Arguelo said.

He spoke of the situation facing developing countries as well, particularly the small island developing states (SIDS) that are greatly affected by the rising sea levels that occur due to climate change.

"The group would like to underline the fact that developing countries continue to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events," he said. "Developing countries are the most vulnerable to climate change, and support for their efforts needs to be stepped up."