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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 20th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

from OIC Newsletter 23 (2010) – June 9, 2010:

Message of the Turkish  Secretary General of OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) on the occasion of the World Environment Day:

The World Environment Day is being observed today in the backdrop of growing realization about the dangers of environmental degradation and the climate change.

The OIC fora at its various meetings has unanimously pronounced about the need for cooperation and adoption of effective measures to protect environment which is essential for the sustainable development of its Member States. The OIC Ten-Year Program of Action – a Joint Action document for the Muslim Ummah to face on challenges of the 21st Century – called upon all the OIC Member States to coordinate their environmental policies and positions in international environmental fora so as to prevent any adverse effects of such policies on their economic development.

The climate change poses an existential threat for many OIC Member States. Securing a fair and equitable agreement on climate change within the framework of existing instruments, therefore, remains a priority for our countries. Notwithstanding the need for active and effective participation by the OIC countries in the international environmental fora, it is gratifying to note that the Islamic Executive Bureau for Environment and the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers is fully seized of all developments in the matter. Our Organization is poised to launch various important initiatives for promotion of clean and renewable energy, clean development mechanism, natural disaster management and alike, under the Islamic Environment Action Program.

The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) fully shares the concerns of the international community and is cooperating with UNEP and other relevant agencies in promoting sustainable development while maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems and life. It is important that more resources are made available to reduce our vulnerabilities to the growing dangers of environmental degradation.

On this occasion, I urge the policy makers, the civil society and all stake holders to join hands in promoting better environmental practices for ensuring the well being of our future generations.

——————

Probe At U.N. Climate Talks After Saudi Sign Smashed.

Date: 21-Jun-10

Reported by Reuters from Germany that Germany’s U.N. climate negotiators agreed to an investigation on Friday after protesters smashed last week a sign emblazoned “Saudi Arabia” and dropped it in toilet after Riyadh blocked a study of deeper cuts in greenhouse gases. (we reported at the time mistakenly that it was a cut-up Saudi national flag that was dropped instead.)

Many countries obviously condemned the protest that originated from the fact that  Saudi Arabia blocked a request by small island states at the end of the May 31-June 11 talks for a study of tougher cuts in greenhouse gases to help slow a rise in world sea levels.

Now Mexico’s delegate Luis Alfonso de Alba, whose country will host the main climate talks in late 2010, said he was initiating the investigation by the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat.

Pieces of the smashed Saudi Arabia sign — about 30 cm and placed on a table to identify the delegation during negotiations — were dropped in a toilet and then photographed, delegates said. The pictures were then put up on some walls.

“This is a serious incident. We should fully support that the secretariat should carry out an investigation and the result should be informed to the parties,” Chinese delegate Su Wei said.

Lebanon’s delegate also said that the Saudi flag was abused during a protest in the conference hall after Saudi Arabia blocked the small island state’s push. (Does that mean that there were indeed two protests – one involving the flag as Lebanon says and the other one involving the sign as Mexico says?)

Saudi Arabia has often expressed worries at U.N. climate negotiations that a shift toward renewable energies will undermine its oil export earnings.

It opposed the small island state’s push for a study of limiting global warming, saying that wider issues such as the impact on exporters, also had to be taken into account.

To us it seems that the worry of the SIDS and AOSIS is  justified and the worry of income of the Saudis and the backing they get from other Islamic States, is something to be looked by the German investigators as well.


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