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China, India must heed call of the times

By Suhit K. Sen ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-01-22 07:42:45

Doha has never been hospitable for contentious North-South dialogue. The negotiations on climate change that signed off in the Qatari capital in December 2012 have proved that again. And, of course, it is difficult to forget that the negotiations on trade liberalization held under the auspices of the World Trade Organization in Doha remain deadlocked even after about a decade.

The 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change proved once again that reaching a globally sanctioned agreement remains all but impossible. We shall not go over the old ground in detail, though it must be mentioned that the virtual refusal of the developed world to honor the letter and spirit of the Kyoto Protocol remains the toughest sticking point. This brings us to the two important questions: Who are the deal-breakers and who are going to suffer the most from the broken attempts to seal an agreement?

For a long time now - but most virulently since the negotiations in Copenhagen in 2012 - China and India have been stigmatized as the most recalcitrant among the negotiators. By extension the guilt is imputed to the entire developing world. This is because Beijing and New Delhi, along with the dispensations in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, have been especially intransigent in their position that the two fundamental principles of the Kyoto Protocol - historical responsibility and equity - continue to be honored.

China, India must heed call of the times

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