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28 November - 9 December 2011

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STATEMENT ON THE UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS, FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER 2011


9 December 2011

Durban - Today, Friday 9 December 2011, marks the conclusion of deliberations of participants to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17/CMP7) being hosted by our country, South Africa, here in Durban.

South Africa was privileged to host on behalf of the people of our country, Africa and indeed the world, this important United Nations Climate Change Conference on our shores as part of our contribution to help create a better tomorrow, today.

The conference began on 28 November and attracted delegates and participants from 194 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is among some of the largest international conferences successfully hosted by South Africa.

Over 130 ministers and although this was a Ministerial Conference, some Heads of State and Government attended the Conference, with more than 25 000 participants also taking part in the Conference and related events.

The national government, together with the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the host city of Durban expresses gratitude to the people of South Africa and, in particular, the people of Durban, Pietermaritzburg and other surrounding towns for their hospitality.

Government wishes to express its appreciation to the United Nations, the African continent and the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for their confidence in South Africa and its people to host this crucial United Nations event aimed at consolidating a cohesive and united international response to the dangers posed by climate change.

The South African government is particularly satisfied that the Conference met all United Nations conference requirements for international conferences, including matters related to security, transportation, immigration, accommodation, ICT as well as media logistics.

In this regard, South Africa accredited a total of 20 000 delegates to the conference, as part of its host agreement with the United Nations, facilitated through the enhanced Movement Control (e-MCS) and the Advanced Passenger Processing Systems (APP).  These were also used during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Furthermore, through our international ports of entry - King Shaka, Cape Town and Oliver Tambo International Airports - South Africa facilitated the visa-free entry of accredited COP 17 delegates into the country.

In anticipation of the arrival of large volumes of representatives of the broader international community, additional immigration and South African Police Officers were deployed to the Durban Harbour and the King Shaka International Airport to facilitate the smooth movement of delegates.

The government’s National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure
(JOINTS) comprising of the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, the Intelligence community and related sector departments was responsible for the security at the COP 17 conference and all parallel events held in a number of venues across, and outside, the city, utilising among others, infrastructure developed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The JOINTS operations primarily entailed high visibility of security forces in uniform and some in civilian clothes patrolling in vehicles, on foot, on bicycles and horseback as well as air support. The security plans were prepared and executed together with the United Nations Safety and Security department that was responsible for the security in the inner perimeter of the venue, in order to ensure that the event is secured accordingly and to deal with any eventuality in the air, land and sea.

This strategy of implementing high visibility of security force personnel has once again proven to be very effective. The greater part of this success must be attributed to the motorists, delegates and communities at large for their overwhelming support to our operations.

The security forces, particularly the SAPS Public Order Police Unit and the Durban Metro Police were called upon to manage protest actions by various organizations and these were handled expertly.

Our greater strength in providing the best security as the host to major events lay in the deployment of our specialised units such as the Special Task Force, the National Intervention Unit, Public Order Policing and Tactical Response Teams.  We also handled some incidents that involved the courts.

As South Africa we express the hope that the arrangements we put in place for the United Nations Climate Change Conference contributed in helping to create a climate conducive for the successful deliberations of the Conference. South Africa is confident that the progress recorded in this conference will go a long way towards pushing back the effects of climate change here at home, Africa and the rest of the world.

The government takes this opportunity to express its appreciation to all those dedicated public servants, in the security and logistics clusters, for having devoted their time and energy over these last two weeks, and even before, to ensure the movement of all delegates into the country is smooth while the Conference is held in a safe and secure environment.

We extend our gratitude to the peoples of this country in general and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in particular for their legendary hospitality displayed in welcoming and hosting representatives of the international community to our shores.

As delegates conclude their deliberations and prepare to travel back home, we stand ready to ensure their departure through our various ports of entry – air, sea and land – is smooth and efficient. We wish all delegates a safe journey back home and convey our best wishes during the Festive Season.

I thank you.



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