Tuesday, November 11, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Eleanor Seggie.
Shifting from an optimistic standpoint in August, South African Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica stated yesterday that it appears "increasingly unlikely" that the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the meeting of the parties of the Kyoto Protocol, will be able to adopt outcomes in Copenhagen in December that will result in the strengthening of the international climate change regime.
Environmental Affairs DG Joanne Yawitch says that the situation does not look optimistic as the parties are too far apart. She reiterated that the Africa group has indicated that it will not accept a weak outcome at the Copenhagen conference. African nations feel that the Kyoto Protocol should not be scrapped, but should rather be amended.
South Africa wants an ambitious and legally binding two-track outcome from Copenhagen, that is inclusive, fair and effective. One track, is that developed countries take on ambitious targets for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, and the second, is that developed nations comply with their convention obligations on adaptation, finance and technology.
Drought and war in East Africa have left more than 20-million people in desperate need of emergency food aid, said the United Nations (UN) yesterday.
The situation is very worrying owing to expected crop failures from poor rains, an increase in conflicts, trade disruptions and continuing high food prices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.
The FAO is hosting a world food summit in Rome next week, hoping to win broad support for an increase in agricultural investments in poor countries to help them feed themselves.
South African President Jacob Zuma was named African President of the Year for 2009 yesterday, at a prestigious event hosted by African Consciousness Media and the Kenneth Kaunda Foundation.
As he accepted the award, which recognises achievement and serves to honour African leaders, Zuma said that special tribute should be paid to African elders who fought for freedom, independence and the unity of the African people.
While individuals are singled out for awards, this ceremony is also about acknowledging the collective efforts of Africa's people to build a better life, said Zuma, adding that a true leader is guided by the needs and the collective wisdom of the people. These awards should, therefore, not be about status or prestige, but service and sacrifice, he said.
Also making headlines:
South African Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says that the current debate over the strength of the rand does not necessarily mean changes in policy.
Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti calls for the reform of the country's Central Bank in order to attract funding from foreign donors.
South Africa's Constitutional Court reserves judgment on the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging pardons case.
And, the United Nations says that the Côte d'Ivoire's voter list will only be ready by the end of 2009, causing yet another delay to the country's elections.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.