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Late-breaking news: Monday Nov. 2 Updates brought to you by the ENB team members throughout the day:

  • The COP-4 Bureau went into session Monday evening to assess the fall-out from host country Argentina's failed bid to introduce an Agenda item on "voluntary commitments" for developing countries. Decisions will be required on COP President Maria Alsogaray's decision to facilitate those parties interested in taking part in informal consultations in the face of resistance from some G-77 countries and calls from China for the maintenance of the Presidency's neutrality.

Opening plenary
Click for full-size image A podium scene as COP-4 in Buenos Aires begins Click for full-size image UNEP and Habitat Executive Director Klaus Töpfer peruses the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in preparation for the beginning of COP-4
Click for full-size image María Julia Alsogaray, Secretary of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development of Argentina, gives her opening speech to the Plenary after her installation as COP-4 President Click for full-size image Michael Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Click for full-size image Dr. Fernando de la Rúa, Jefe de Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, welcomes delegates to Argentina Click for full-size image Melinda Kimble, US Department of State, supports the inclusion of voluntary commitments as an agenda item. PDF logo US Statement available in PDF format
María Julia Alsogaray accepting her election as President of COP-4 Argentine guests attend the opening ceremony
Dr. Fernando de la Rúa, Govenor of Buenos Aires. RealAudio logo His welcoming speech in RealAudio Rúa and Zammit Cutajar listen to COP-3 President Hiroshi Ohki of Japan
Other declarations from the opening sessions:

The debate on Agenda Item 6

Provisional Agenda Item 6 - relating to voluntary commitments by non-Annex 1 Parties - provoked prolonged exchanges among delegates, with many G77 nations opposed to the item's inclusion on the provisional agenda. A selection of the interventions follow:

The representative from China congratulated the COP-4 President on the deletion of the Provisional Agenda Item on "voluntary commitments". He proceeded to call on the President to remain neutral and avoid involvement in informal discussions on the issue. Chilean Ambassador Urlando Stein of Chile supports the inclusion of voluntary commitments as an agenda item. Chile was one of the few G-77/China member countries to support this inclusion.
Argentinian Under Secretary of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Raul Castellini outlining his country's support for the inclusion of an item on voluntary commitments in the COP-4 agenda. Hodesky Helmut of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, conceded that it would not be possible to resolve the issue of addressing voluntary commitments in Plenary and proposed that it be left in the hands of the COP president to make a decision on how to proceed

Afternoon plenary

AG-13 Chair Patrick Zséll, UK SBSTA Chair Kok Kee Chow, Malyasia, and SBI Chair, Bakary Kante, Senegal

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