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High-level segment of Copenhagen Conference begins

2009-12-16 13:09 BJT

Special Report: UN climate change conference in Copenhagen |


The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change has entered its final crucial stage as world leaders begin arriving in the Danish capital in the hope of sealing a deal.

At Tuesday's opening ceremony of the high-level segment of the Conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he's still full of expectations for the final results of the conference.

He hinted that even if the final deal is not legally-binding as expected, it will lay solid foundation for later action.

Time is ticking away in Copenhagen. But rather than merging, the divisions between developing and developed countries seem to be more and more defined. Monday morning's talks came to a sudden halt, as representatives of mostly African nations walked out of the conference hall. They accused rich nations of trying to kill the Kyoto Protocol. Although the talks resumed in the afternoon, a wait-and-see attitude seemed most prevalent, adding uncertainty to the conference's final outcome.

Connie Hegaard, Conference President, said, "In these very hours, success is still within reach. But as president of the COP, I should also warn you we can fail. Probably without anyone really wanting it so, but because we spent too much time on repeating our positions, on sending signals, on formalities. We can't risk failure. No one here can carry that responsibility."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2nd R) speaks at a news conference with UN climate chief Yvo de Boer (R), Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen (2nd L) and COP15 president Connie Hedegaard during the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 15, 2009.REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2nd R) speaks at a news conference
with UN climate chief Yvo de Boer (R), Denmark's Prime Minister Lars
Lokke Rasmussen (2nd L) and COP15 president Connie Hedegaard during
the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 15,
2009.REUTERS/Ints Kalnins