Opening Speech by COP-13 President Mr Witoelar

At COP-13, First Meeting, Monday, 3 December 2007

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentleman, it is my privilege to welcome such an autust and important gathering to Indonesia. I would like to thank you for electing me to this important post. The future of the climate regime is an issue that is central to the future of humanity. You have done me a great honor in electing me to lead the process at this critidal juncture. It is a weighty responsibility, an I will endeavor to deliver to the best of my ability.

The scientific debate has been conclusively laid to rest by the latest scientific findings from the IPCC. Climate change is unequivocal and accelerating.

It has also becoma increasingly evident that the most severe impacts of climate change will be felt by poor nations, and the poorest within them. Climate change will threaten our ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and to lift our contries from the scourge of poverty. Climate protection must form an integral part of sustainable economic development. And, it is critical that we act, and act now.

The UNDP Human Development Report released last week characterizes climate change as the “defining human development challenge of the 21st Century.