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President Jacob Zuma Holds Successful Meeting with Civil Society
Source: BuaNews
Source Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 14, 2011

The President said the meeting with civil society was “invaluable” and enabled him to gain insight into how they viewed the important UN climate change conference and other issues that are of concern to civil society. 


“As government, we have listened carefully to their submissions and I will share them with my colleagues at the various platforms," said Zuma.


He shared with the organisations how South Africa had to “South Africanise and Africanise” the talks through introducing the Indaba approach. 


"We have utilized the Indaba consultative process in order to afford the Parties to participate in a fair, transparent and inclusive process. Since the Indaba approach appeals to the collective wisdom of the people, it also shows the instrumentality and adaptability of African institutions in assisting the global community to overcome common problems,” he said.


There was an unfortunate scuffle at the beginning of the meeting as some groups competed to be heard, in a disruptive manner. The President stressed that since South Africa was a democracy, people must respect each other’s views and space, and raise disagreements respectfully.


"In South Africa, we believe in discussing any issue that comes before us. We dedicate time and effort to discussing it until we find a solution. Let us learn to disagree respectfully with one another," said Zuma.  


The Presidency acknowledged the intervention of the police who did their jobs to restore order in the Durban City Hall after which the meeting continued successfully and constructively with civil society.


On the eve of the ending of the talks, President Zuma also emphasised the need for parties to go above the national interests and to put the interests of humanity first in dealing with matters on the table at the COP17/CMP7 talks.


“Therefore, on
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