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Late-breaking news : Wednesday 11 Nov

Updates brought to you by the ENB team members throughout the day:

Parties at COP-4 are expected to adopt a resolution on solidarity with Central America in the wake of the "considerable loss of life and devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama." The resolution will note the high vulnerability of Central American countries to climate phenomena and expresses concern that global warming may be contributing to the worsening of weather conditions. The resolution will also invite the international community to lend immediate assistance to the people of Central America.

bulletKazakstan will announce its intention to join Annex I and Annex B and assume a binding target to abate emissions to below business as usual projections during the 2008-2012 compliance period. The US says the decision demonstrates a growing desire by non Annex I Parties to have access to the opportunities offered by Kyoto's flexibility mechanisms. The US has already negotiated observer status for Kazakstan in the ‘Umbrella Group’.

bulletThe European Commissioner for Environment, H.E. Ms.Ritt Bjerregaard, demonstrated her commitment to COP-4 by simply arriving in Buenos Aires. She is on her first overseas mission since a domestic accident which has severely limited her mobility.

Argentina confident the right road leads to voluntary commitments

President Carlos Menem has announced that Argentina will take on a voluntary commitment for the budget period 2008-2012 at COP-5 and seek a "new way within the Convention" for countries like Argentina to participate in all the mechanisms of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. President Menem signaled that he expects Argentina to travel along the road of voluntary commitments with a few other developing countries initially. However he assured the COP-4 Plenary that those who know where they are going and find a straight road do not travel alone for long.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) President talks about Argentina's economic and sustainable development

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) The President offers his sympathies to the victims of hurricane Mitch

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) President Menem of Argentina signal’s his country’s much anticipated plan to undertake a voluntary commitment for the first budget period of 2008-2012

9entrance_s.jpg (7887 bytes) Carlos Saul Menem, President of the Republic of Argentina, enters the conference center
10desai3_s.jpg (6286 bytes) Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General, Department for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, and Representative of the Secreatry-General addresses the Conference of the Parties prior to President Menem's speech 9menface_s.jpg (5933 bytes) President Menem smiles for the cameras
9speechuse_s.jpg (4812 bytes) Menem addresses the Conference of the Parties 9panel3_s.jpg (8424 bytes) COP President Maria Julia Algosary, President Menem and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar
9gakgirl_s.jpg (3379 bytes) Left and right: President Menem accepts messages from students, urging him to help prevent further environmental destruction 9gakmen_s.jpg (7613 bytes)

After the Presidential Ceremony, intergovernmental organizations addressed the Plenary

9undp_s.jpg (4612 bytes) James G. Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
9ipcc_s.jpg (4714 bytes) Robert Watson, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 9gef2_s.jpg (4618 bytes) Mohammed T. El-Ashry, CEO and Chairman, Global Environment Facility

In the afternoon, non-governmental organizations addressed the Plenary

9globe_s.jpg (5470 bytes) Tom Spencer, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment 9icftu_s.jpg (4467 bytes) Luis Anderson, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
9cliall_s.jpg (4516 bytes) José Luis González, Klima-Bündnis (Climate Alliance) 9icc_s.jpg (3734 bytes) Clement B. Malin, International Chamber of Commerce
9francis_s.jpg (4645 bytes) Brother Ignacio Harding, Franciscans International 9ngoaud_s.jpg (6686 bytes)  Audience listening to NGO statements

COP President Press Briefing

COP4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray fielded questions from the media.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) In this excerpt from the briefing, Alsogaray discusses Argentina and the voluntary commitments issue

European Union Press Briefing

European Union representative Peter Jorgensen indicated that the pace of progress was about to speed up.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Peter Jorgensen responds to a journalist's question: "What's cooking?"

US Delegation Press Briefing

The US, represented by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs) and Todd Stern (Assistant to the President for Special Projects) briefed the media on recent events and fielded questions.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Stuart E. Eizenstat commends President Menem and Argentina regarding the pledge on voluntary commitments, then discusses Kazakstan's new initiative. The panel also refutes rumors about Vice President Al Gore's possible appearance at the conference

9megaust_s.jpg (4225 bytes) Meg McDonald, Ambassador for the Environment, Australia, consults with her delegation

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