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As of 1 Dec 2012, only 125 out of 192 Countries have submitted their credentials!

December 3, 2012

W[h]ither the Kyoto Protocol? Durban and Beyond

What are “Credentials” and why are they important in the context of climate change?

Credentials are the basic requirements for Parties to participate in the adoption of amendments to the Kyoto Protocol.

Why is this important?

Due to the need for countries (Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) to consider the outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), including amendments to Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol to reflect Parties’ quantified emission limitation or reduction commitments (QELROs/QELRCs) for the second commitment period (CP2) as well as other related amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, Parties HAVE TO submit written consent in order to participate (to vote) in the adoption of amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, in particular, on credentials, written consent and full powers.

How does it work? 

In accordance with rule 19 of the draft rules of procedure being applied (FCCC/CP/1996/2), the credentials of representatives of Parties, as well as the names of alternate representatives and advisers, shall be submitted to the secretariat no later than 24 hours after the opening of that session. Any later change in the composition of the delegation shall also be communicated to the secretariat.

The credentials must be issued by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister of  Foreign Affairs or, in the case of a regional economic integration organization, by a competent authority of that organization. They should indicate the date and place where the instrument was issued, be signed by the competent authority and indicate the title of the signatory. In the case of a person acting ad interim, as the Head of State or Government or as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the title must indicate that the person is exercising such powers ad interim. In this respect, the secretariat will accept the following formulations: Acting President, Acting Prime Minister, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, President ad interim, Prime Minister ad interim and Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim.

Original credentials, duly signed as indicated above, written in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, should be deposited with the External Relations Office, located in the Conference Affairs Services Office at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), in Doha, Qatar. No other office of the secretariat or of the Host Country is designated to receive credentials. In addition, information concerning the appointment of representatives participating in the sessions which is communicated by means of facsimile or e-mail or as letters or notes verbales from ministries, embassies, permanent missions to the United Nations or other participating government offices or authorities, or through local United Nations Offices, will not be considered as credentials. Receipt of valid credentials will be acknowledged by the secretariat in writing on a copy of the original credentials.

What does this all mean?

This simply means that if countries/Parties HAVE NOT submitted their Credentials to the UNFCCC Secretariat they will not be able to vote on the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, which since is already in legal force, has implications on Parties that are bound to its obligations contained within (e.g. Annex I Parties’ emission reduction limits).

So, if your country has not already submitted theirs – which you can check here – then write to your national focal point and have them submit it NOW!

For more information on “Credentials”, please visit this link.


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