PARIS—President Serzh Sarkisian is currently attending the twenty-first session of the conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which opened yesterday in Paris, the presidential press service reports.
The UNFCCC is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and has near universal membership. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
The conference is being attended by the heads of state and government from 150 countries and by thousands more delegates. At the beginning of the opening session, delegations held a moment of silence as tribute to the victims of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.
In their opening remarks, President of France Francois Hollande, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prince Charles of Great Britain and other speakers underscored the importance of the conference for the future of the planet, and noted that people all over the world are looking to Paris for a decision to tackle climate change.
In his statement, President Sarkisian first expressed gratitude to President Hollande for the organization of the conference and hospitality despite the terror attacks which shocked France and the world.
Sarkisian stressed that climate change threatened all states equally, regardless of their size or level of development. Even though Armenia’s share in global emissions is not large and does not exceed two hundredth of a percent, according to the Sarkisian Armenia attaches great importance to the need of combining efforts of all countries to address the issue, and as a developing nation has committed itself to contribute to the global endeavor to curb climate change.
“The Armenian national position was reflected in the ‘Plan of Actions defined at the National Level’ adopted by our government. It is built upon the following principles:
First, global emissions of the greenhouse gases shall be limited at the threshold, which would keep the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius.
Second, we shall adopt an approach that is general but differentiated, and take into account the varying degree of the current and historical responsibility of the numerous countries.
Third, the responsibility and burden-sharing for limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases shall be distributed by taking into account the rights of contemporary and future generations to utilize the climate resources.
And, finally, fourth, not to do anything that would make developing countries slide back.”
“Armenia stands ready to undertake a commitment of a quantitative limitation to the increase of the emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Sarkisian.
Sarkisian ended his speech by noting that the threat of climate change, as well as other contemporary global threats, does not recognize national borders, international law, or any civilizational norms. According to Sarkisian, a challenge that a country may face in the modern interdependent and globalized world is, in a collective sense, a challenge to everyone.
“Therefore, the solutions shall be comprehensive, agreed upon, and coordinated,” Sarkisian said. Sarkisian said that it is important for world leaders to evaluate foundations of global cohabitation and refine the tools at their disposal. According to Sarkisian, joint response to the challenges of climate change, should it be successful, may become a precedent for new kinds of global endeavors.