Indonesia should run against India and South Africa to head the UN climate change secretariat following the recent resignation of its executive secretary, an activist said on Tuesday. “Indonesia has the potential to run for this position, and it is good that the competition is filled with developing countries such as South Africa and India, because not all developing countries have a big influence on climate change issues,” said Fitrian Ardiansyah, program director for climate and energy at World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia. Yvo De Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, announced his resignation in February, three months after the highly anticipated international climate change talks in Copenhagen ended with a nonbinding agreement deemed a failure by environmentalists.
Fitrian said: “It is about time that developing countries come forward and become leaders in this issue, because these countries will face the biggest challenges and impacts from climate change.” South Africa, the first country to officially announce its interest in the position, nominated its tourism minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, also a former minister of environmental affairs. India has proposed its environment secretary, Vijay Sharma, to head the UNFCCC office, according to local media reports.
Although it has yet to make an official announcement, Indonesia is believed to have three candidates for the post. They are former Foreign Minister Nur Hassan Wirajuda; Agus Purnomo, head of the National Council on Climate Change and a special staff member to the president on climate issues; and Liana Bratasida, the environment minister’s assistant for global environmental affairs and international cooperation.
Tri Tharyat, a senior official from the National Council on Climate Change, said Indonesia had proven it was capable of hosting important environmental meetings, including the 13th Convention of the Parties to the UNFCC in 2007 and the recent 11th Special Session of the United Nations Environmental Program Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum, both of which were held in Bali.
“There is still no final decision [on Indonesia’s candidates] as Yvo is still doing his job until July 1, but all countries are welcome to name their candidates,” he said. Fitrian, however, said the country still had a lot of work to do before aiming for the position, with a priority on staying committed to its pledge to cut carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020. “Indonesia can be respected even without that position as long as we can be internally solid,” he said. “How can you unify the world’s voices if you cannot do it in your own country?”
Source: The Jakarta Globe – March 09, 2010
By Fidelis E Satriastanti