A Swiss delegation is in Marrakesh to attend the United Nations conference on climate change. Led by the environment minister, Moritz Leuenberger, the Swiss could play an important role in the talks.
The 12-day conference, which started on Monday, is as a follow-up to the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, earlier this year, when a last-minute compromise was reached after days of acrimony and threatened walk-outs.
Switzerland is expected to play a key part in the Marrakesh talks, since, according to the Swiss ambassador for the environment, Beat Nobs, international environmental policy has been a priority over the past few years.
"We believe that a small country like Switzerland can play an important role in the field [environment] in showing that a combination of national legislation with international politics can be an example for others," Nobs told swissinfo.
Nobs also sees the fact that the Swiss president, Leuenberger, is leading the delegation in Marrakesh as very significant.
Importance of Kyoto
He stressed that Leuenberger would undoubtedly address the conference, and point out the importance of the Kyoto protocol, not only for Switzerland, but also for the rest of the world.
"Switzerland is willing and ready to do its utmost at the national level to implement this international agreement," he said.
The 180 nations attending the meeting are expected to reach an accord, and agree on final details of the 1997 Kyoto protocol, which is aimed at limiting greenhouse gas pollution, before the world environment summit kicks off in Johannesburg in September, 2002.
During the climate conference in Bonn this year, more than 180 nations agreed to carry out the protocol, however, the United States pulled out of the deal, and President George W Bush called it "fatally flawed."
The talks in Marrakesh will run from October 29 to November 9, 2001.
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