Delegates trickle in for COP17

2011-11-26 08:03

Delegates have started arriving in South Africa for the United Nations climate change conference, which will be hosted in Durban next week.

“So far, a total of 271 delegates, who are part of the 11 810 approved delegates, have arrived since Monday,” Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said in Pretoria yesterday.

“We will be facilitating movement into the country en route to Durban mainly through our ports of entry – specifically OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports,” he said.

Durban will host what is formally known as the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The summit is scheduled to begin on Monday and will run until December 9.

The delegates expected include several heads of state and government, ministers, UN officials, members of civil society and journalists.

“We are ready to facilitate movement of persons wishing to attend COP17 through any ports – land and sea points of entry across the country,” he said.

On arrival, accredited delegates were being issued with “special visas”.

“The systems we have in place, such as the movement control system and the advanced passenger processing system, a legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, will ensure we facilitate a smooth entry,” he said.

Apleni said Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan would lead a government delegation next week to ministerial meetings of the International Organisation of Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland. 

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