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BASIC takes forward India’s concern at Durban climate talks

According to reports, The BASIC appears to have finally shed its reticence. For the first time, the four advanced developing countries – India, China, Brazil and South Africa – put out their positions at the formal opening session of the negotiations at Durban. 

For India, which put in an official proposal for the inclusion of the issues of trade, equity and intellectual property rights in the agenda of the conference, this was good news. Not only does it signal that India is not alone in its demand for the inclusion of these key items. There has been a sense that India’s push for the “items left out of the Cancun Agreements” was a unilateral tactic to delay any kind of movement on talks for an agreement that would bind all countries. 

With China, speaking on behalf of the four countries, this notion has been dispelled to a great extent. China’s statement is based on the statement issued at the recent BASIC ministerial which was attended by other constituents of the larger developing country bloc. 

Clearly then, the position articulated by China on behalf of the BASIC reflects concerns of other developing countries as well. The BASIC statement at the plenary is also indicative of perhaps a certain ease within the 132-member developing country bloc, G-77 and China. 

There appears to be an understanding that the advanced developing countries are not working out an understanding while forsaking the broader and more varied interests of the developing country bloc. 

“We emphasise that adequate treatment of issues of equity, trade and intellectual property rights (IPR) is crucial to developing countries and necessary for a comprehensive and balanced outcome at Durban. We underline the importance of these issues during deliberations in COP17. 

“We are dedicated to consolidating and strengthening the unity of G-77 and China and appreciate the role played by South Africa as the presidency and its efforts to achieve a successful outcome in Durban,” the statement delivered by China, on behalf of Brazil, India, South Africa and itself, said. 

This move could signify a more cohesive consolidation of the developing countries as a bloc. 

The BASIC statement also prioritises the urgent need to address the issue of adaptation particularly for the African countries.

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