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Bangkok High Level Opening Ceremony

10/01/09

With such a title, you would think that the opening ceremony to the Bangkok Climate Change Talk would produce something note worthy. Instead, it was more of an overview of the things that have taken place in the past year that has led to these talks. The approximately one hour session contained many important and relavent speakers:

Mr. Yvo de Boer,
Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Other than thanking everyone for coming, Mr. de Boer outlined a few points that the Bangkok talks hoped to accomplish:

o identify the issues that need further clarification;

o identify topics that require additional workshops;

o identify what input and support you need from your secretariat;

o identify clearly how the process can be informed by outputs from relevant

intergovernmental processes as well as insights from the business and research

communities and civil society.


Ms. Noeleen Heyzer,
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UNESCAP

Ms. Heyzer does a lot of work behind the scenes. She has recently met privately with the Prime Minister of India as well as representatives from China in order to prepare them for the Bangkok Climate talks. (aka, ask them if they are going to do anything in Bangkok besides twiddle their thumbs.) Recently, Heyzer has been key to kickin’ people into action.

Mr. Suwit Khunkitti,
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand

Mr. Khunkitti’s speech was lacking of substance. He merely thanked everyone for coming Thailand and that it was a privilege for Bangkok and the country to host such “monumental” talks (HA!). Other than that, he wished the delegates luck and to get to work.

H.E. Ms. Connie Hedegaard,
Minister of Climate and Energy of Denmark

Ms. Hedegaard’s statement discussed a few past accomplishments. Mainly highlighting Japan’s commitment, she noted the successful past talks and how Bangkok has the potential to be even more helpful. Asking the delegates to make sure they use these talks to prepare for Copenhagen, Hedegaard closed by urging that the text be narrowed, simplified, and implemented. (after criticizing the G20!)

H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva,
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

Overall, the opening ceremony was much less complex and boring than I thought it would be. However, all of the speakers merely introduced the coming session, thanked everyone for coming, and hoped that something would come out of the following discussions.

-Tyler Hess

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