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UN climate conference concludes after compromise over outcome text

A United Nations conference on climate change concluded here early Saturday after hours of negotiations that finally achieved compromise over the text on outcomes.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, president of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), hailed the momentum of strong support for climate action and sustainable development.

The conference started just days after the entry into force of the December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which has so far been ratified by 111 parties.

Seventy heads of state and government attended the high-level segment of COP22 and the first conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CAM1), an indication of "irreversible momentum" for climate action.

Informal consultations over the text of outcome documents lasted well into Friday night, pushing the closing session into the wee hours of Saturday.

Mamadou Honadia, head of the Burkina Faso delegation, told Xinhua that negotiators had been trying to bridge their differences over the fate of the so-called Adaptation Fund, which was set up under the Kyodo Protocol.

Developing countries worried about the fate of the Adaptation Fund since the Kyodo Protocol will expire in 2020 and be replaced by the Paris Agreement, he said.

"The Adaptation Fund is dedicated to financing adaptation concrete projects," Honadia said. "We don't want this fund to disappear."

Developing countries demand a change in the wording related to the fund in a draft decision to be adopted by the conference, Honadia revealed, adding that the document must make it clear that the Adaptation Fund "shall" serve the Paris Agreement.

An explanatory note released earlier Friday by Mezouar said that the fund "should" serve the Paris deal.

Developed countries and developing countries had also differed over when the first conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CAM1) resume and over its agenda.

Many developing countries that have not yet ratified the Paris Agreement, such as Burkina Faso, demand that CAM1 be "suspended" so that they could attend it as a signatory instead of as an observer, Honadia said.

He said that developing countries hope CAM1 would have a balanced agenda and discuss all major issues under the Paris Agreement, including mitigation, adaption and technology transfer.

The agenda under discussion mainly focuses on the implementation of nationally determined contributions and is thus in favor of developed countries, he added.

The conference, which started on Nov. 7, brought together thousands of government officials as well as representatives from international organizations, the civil society and businesses. It aims to pave the way for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.



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