Message of Her Excellency Yoriko Kawaguchi,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
on the occasion of the Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change

July 2, 2003

Good morning distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me a great pleasure to host the Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change co-chaired by Japan and Brazil with the participation of officials from various parts of the world who are dealing with climate change. I believe that the discussions will benefit very much from your participation. I would also like to welcome observers from international and non-governmental organizations.

Global warming is a serious threat to humankind that urgently requires our reinforced actions. The Kyoto Protocol is a significant first step in strengthening international actions against global warming, but it is only the beginning of our efforts towards the long-term objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere as provided for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In order to ensure the effectiveness of actions against global warming, all countries need to endeavour to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a common rule. It is important that we begin now the consideration of our actions after 2012.

The Delhi Ministerial Declaration adopted last year at the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP8) includes a paragraph to the effect that Parties should promote informal exchange of information to develop effective and appropriate responses to climate change. With a view to establishing a more comprehensive international rule in the future, it is important to facilitate substantive exchange of views among key countries. It is for this reason that Japan has taken a initiative to convene this meeting.

I may remind ourselves of the fact that the countries represented at this meeting account for nearly 80 % of total greenhouse gas emissions. While national positions and circumstances vary considerably from country to country, I am convinced that participants have gathered in Tokyo united by a common wish to contribute to the combat against climate change. Personally, I continue to have a special commitment to climate change and the Kyoto Protocol because I, as Minister of the Environment, participated in the all night sessions at COP6, its resumed session, and COP7 that led to the Marrakesh Accords. Fortunately, the schedule of this meeting is not nearly as arduous, and therefore, much more conducive for creative inter-action. I sincerely hope that, as a result of discussions during the next three days, we can better understand each others' concerns and seek possibilities for a way forward. I may call this Japan-Brazil joint pragmatism to build a better future.

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