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Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Hague, The Netherlands; 13 - 24 November 2000

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During the closing hours of COP6, this page will be updated at least every few hours. It was last updated on 
6:30 pm Saturday,  (local time)

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6:30 PM Meeting ends without agreement – formal Plenary decides to suspend COP-6, reconvene in 2001

The formal Plenary session of the meeting in The Hague has concluded with a decision by Parties to suspend COP-6 and reconvene in 2001.

Having been unable to reach agreement on some of the key outstanding issues, Parties concluded their formal meeting shortly after 6:00 pm by adopting a decision to reconvene for COP-6 Part II in 2001. The decision requests COP-6 President Pronk to seek advice on the desirability of resuming in May/June 2001 with the aim of completing work on negotiating texts and adopting a comprehensive and balanced package of decisions on all issues under the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. It also requests President Pronk to make proposals for the further development and consideration of texts and seek advice before the resumed meeting takes place. Finally, it urges Parties to intensify political consultations among themselves.

4:00PM Final negotiations end without consensus – talks set to continue next year

In a final informal Plenary session for government ministers and other senior officials, COP-6 President Jan Pronk has announced that final efforts to seek consensus have concluded without agreement. He acknowledged that he was extremely disappointed and said the meeting had not lived up to expectations from the outside world.

Following Pronk’s speech, high-level negotiators from key countries involved in these talks provided their assessments of events, noting the complexity of the issues and the excellent work of Pronk himself. Although disappointed, many pointed to progress made during talks, and expressed the hope that a meeting next year could result in a better outcome. It is now certain that COP-6 Part II will take place next year, probably in late May and early June. In their speeches, the US and EU negotiators noted that the key outstanding issues include sinks, compliance and supplementarity.

Above photo: The dias of the final informal Plenary session

9:00 AM Failure to reach agreement overnight - final push by President Pronk in last few hours before meeting ends

9:00 am - Overnight negotiations involving Government Ministers have failed to result in a political agreement on key details governing the Kyoto Protocol and strengthening the UNFCCC. By 9:00 am Saturday, Ministers had failed to reach any agreement, with the differences being reported on supplementarity, sinks and financing. President Pronk has announced his intention to convene an informal high-level Plenary at 2:00 pm in a last effort to reach agreement before the meeting's scheduled finish three hours later. Officials are now conducting further consultations in their regional and political groups.

Above photo: Delegates and media crews are in waiting game for the informal high-level Plenary to start.

8:30 pm, Friday, 24 November 2000, The Hague Ministerial negotiations to continue in closed session throughout Friday night, into Saturday

In a press conference held at the conference center at 7:30 pm to brief the media on the latest news, UN spokesperson Michael Williams announced that high-level negotiations were set to continue throughout the night, with ministers locked in closed talks that are expected to conclude around 6:00 am Saturday. Michael Williams also revealed that officials will try to distribute a new paper with any agreements from 8:00 am local time “at the earliest.” Following this, an informal high-level Plenary will be held – probably late in the morning – to attempt to resolve any remaining issues. This will precede the formal Plenary, likely to be held from 1:00 pm to around 4:00 pm, during which delegates will formally adopt any decisions taken.

It is far from clear how negotiations will turn out during the night, with some suggesting that the prospects for agreement on substantive political decisions were “50-50.” With ministers engaging in closed talks, and senior officials remaining tight-lipped, observers are now waiting for the new paper due on Saturday morning.

Whatever the result, it is now certain that any decision will focus only on achieving what Michael Williams referred to as a “convincing political agreement.” Many technical matters will need to be forwarded to the next formal meeting – probably in May 2001. Whether this will be a meeting of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, or a resumed COP-6, remains unclear.

4:45 pm: Talks continue, as meeting enters its final 24 hours:

Ministers and other high-level delegates have been negotiating in their regional/political groups and alliances during the day, as well as in multilateral consultations on the key issues. President Jan Pronk's attempt to move talks forward by introducing his own set of proposals Thursday night seem to have received a mixed response, with some observers suggesting it could form the basis for a compromise agreement to be hammered out over the next 24 hours, while others remain skeptical. President Pronk himself has suggested his proposals attempt to achieve balance, and could "cause pain," but would share it as "fairly as possible." More pressure has been added by Pronk's announcement that the meeting must finish Saturday afternoon.

Upcoming news:

Participants watching for signs of progress - or problems - will be paying close attention to press briefings by a number of delegations scheduled for the next few hours. In addition, SBI Chair John Ashe and SBSTA Chair Harald Dovland will be holding a closed meeting shortly with President Pronk to take stock of progress on talks held earlier today and previously on the more "technical" issues. It is understood that negotiations on the mechanisms and on accounting, reporting and review under Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8 will be on the agenda.
A high-level informal Plenary may also convened late Friday night so all delegates and other key participants can hear reports on progress in the ongoing closed negotiations.

Highlights from Friday, 24 November:

Speech by Youth delegates

In a Plenary session held from 12:00 pm � 2:00 pm Friday, participants heard a statement by the Youth delegate from Tanzania, who provided the perspective of the youth present at the conference. She said young people are motivated by concrete action, and said the group here has taken the initiative to form a network, the World Youth Organization on Climate Change. The purpose of the network is to promote public awareness among youth on climate change and to take initiatives on energy saving and promotion of renewable energy forms, including at the community level. She said the network will be partially Internet-based, and will hopefully reach hundreds of millions of young people around the world. The Youth delegate from Tanzania further expressed the hope that youth will be involved in the climate change negotiation process in the future, as members of delegations on a permanent basis.  

Real Audio of the Youth delegate from Tanzania

The Youth delegate from Brazil handed a copy of the programme defining this initiative to President Pronk (left), and youth delegates from all regions of the world presented a flag they had designed to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar (Below).

Speech by the President of Costa Rica:

Miguel Angel Rodriguez Echeverria,President of Costa Rica, then addressed the Plenary, highlighting the opportunity for this meeting to fulfill the hopes of the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992, where the UNFCCC was adopted, as well as the hopes generated at COP-3 in Kyoto. He encouraged delegates to adopt decisions leading to effective and efficient action, and underscored market mechanisms as providing positive incentives for change. He highlighted the initiative for a prompt start to the CDM, and supported the inclusion of forestry. He focused in particular on the reduction of deforestation and related ancillary benefits, highlighting Costa Rican initiatives in this area, and national experience of the AIJ phase. He noted the importance of including tropical forestry under the CDM to prevent global leakage leading to further deforestation in these areas. In concluding, he encouraged delegates to move beyond their own interest, to look for long-term solutions and show leadership in order to arrive at a successful outcome. Left photo: H.E. Miguel Angel Rodriguez Echeverria, President of the Republic of Costa Rica

Real Audio of President Echeverria

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