More than 150 nations and 80 heads of state and governments attended an unprecedented summit on climate change at the United Nations headquarters in New York this year, making it the highest-level meeting on climate change the UN has ever hosted.
Representing Laos at the summit was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith, who expressed concern and the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions as the scientific comprehension of the dangers posed by climate change becomes more concrete.
Mr. Sisoulith said Laos sees the assessment of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) as a serious warning for the international community to act and act now. He said all member states must reaffirm their commitment to the UNFCCC by doubling their efforts. At the same time, Mr. Sisoulith said the implementation of the convention should be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Mr. Sisoulith said adaptation to climate change is crucial for developing countries, but these countries find it difficult to afford that, due to their limited financial and technical capacities. Therefore, these countries should receive both financial and technical assistance from the international community, particularly the international donors, in building their capacities and acquiring appropriate technologies on concessional terms.
“Given our status as a Least Developed Country and our fledgling industrial sector,” Mr. Sisoulith said “the Lao PDR emits a relatively negligible amount of greenhouse gases." In support of UNFCCC, Mr. Sisoulith said Laos plays its part to contribute to the battle against climate change, especially in the area of forestry development and conservation. He said over the past years, the forestry areas of Laos increased to 11.2 million hectares in 2005 while wood exploitation was reduced by 50 percent.
Meanwhile .the U.N. Secretary-General said he heard a clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change. He added that he now believes there is the political commitment to achieving that at a conference in Bali later this year.
Last Thursday, representatives of more than a dozen countries gathered in Washington for a two-day meeting on climate change called for by President Bush. The participating countries represent the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases, including US, China and India. Representatives from the United Nations and European Union also attended.
Listen to our Special Report for details in Lao.