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Forum to finalize procedures making Kyoto Protocol 'fully operational' opens

Forum to finalize procedures making Kyoto Protocol 'fully operational' opens

More than 160 countries convened today in Marrakech, Morocco, to try to finalize procedures and institutions needed to make a United Nations treaty on climate change fully operational.

Delegations representing 164 countries began the seventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change by electing Mohamed Elyazghi, Morocco's Environment Minister, as conference president.

Starting tomorrow, and until the beginning of the high-level segment on 7 November, delegates will meet in working groups in an effort to translate the political principles reached at the a meeting last July in Bonn into a detailed operational rulebook for the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force and become legally binding after it has been ratified by at least 55 parties to the Convention, with industrialized countries representing at least 55 per cent of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from this group. So far, 39 countries have ratified, including one industrialized country, Romania.

The conference, which is scheduled to run until November 9, brings together over 4,000 participants, including official delegations, non-governmental organizations and media.