ecbi - The European Capacity Building Initiative
1950 - 2011
Chair of the SBSTA & Co-Chair of the ecbi Steering Committee
It is with the deepest sadness that we have learned of the untimely passing of Mama Konaté. Mama was Chair of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice, and former Chair of the LDC Group and the Expert Group on Technology Transfer.
As mentioned in the announcement by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Secretariat, Mama has been one of the most active, dedicated and prominent leaders of the international climate change negotiations. But he was also instrumental in setting up the ecbi, which owes an enormous depth of gratitude for his unwavering support and guidance. He will be sorely missed by all of us.
On behalf of the ecbi, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and assure them that his friendship and support will not be forgotten.
In deep sorrow,
Benito Müller, Director of the ecbi
» The original letter of condolence from Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
It is with profound sadness that the Climate Change secretariat has to inform all parties and observer organizations to the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol of the sudden death, this weekend in Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany, of Mr Mama Konaté (Mali), Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
Mr Konaté played a key role in the climate change negotiations since the third session of the Conference of the Parties in Kyoto, japan, in 1997. He applied all his capacity and wisdom in firmly defending the interests of the least developed countries and of his country while always remaining dedicated to the global good and the objective of the Convention. He was respected and liked by all delegates. His leadership in the negotiating process of climate change was demonstrated on several occasions as the Chair of the least developed country Group, the Chair of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer and, more recently, as the Chair of the SBSTA. Undoubtedly, the climate change process has lost one of its most active, dedicated and prominent leaders.
On behalf of the secretariat, I wish to convey to all parties and observer organizations our deep sorrow at his passing. We shall miss him deeply, but will redouble our efforts in the struggle against climate change, following his past guidance.
The secretariat would like to extend its deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in their time of mourning.
Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
Mama Konaté will be missed and remembered for a very long time. He was my colleague as co-chairman of the steering board of the ecbi, where he displayed a gentle efficiency and a lot of common sense. I also admired his work in so many key positions of the climate negotiations. But above all he was a good friend, with his warm smile and his always interesting remarks on all sorts of issues. Somehow the negotiations will not be the same when he is no longer there. I convey my most sincere condolences to his family.
Bo Kjellén, Co-Chair of the ecbi Steering Committee
The first time I met Mama was in September 2005. He was one of the very first batch of ecbi Oxford Fellows, and we were extremely grateful that he took the risk to invest more than a week of his very precious time in this completely unproven event. I was deeply impressed by his warm and cordial nature and his tremendous sense of humour, which I am sure helped him in the many tricky situations he had to master when performing his duties as chair as admirably as he always did, and for which he was universally respected. Indeed, a leading European negotiator, in reply to my announcement of Mama’s passing, expressed his respect for Mama
Mama was not only one of our first Oxford Fellows, he also co-chaired the ecbi Steering Committee during its first two phases from 2005 to 2010. As everyone involved in the climate change negotiations will know, these five years have been among the most intense and tense in history, and Mama was always at the heart of events, trying not only to keep the process going, but to achieve consensus. It is all the more remarkable that at the same time he found time to help the ecbi become the success it is. We, and I particularly, owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Most of all, I will miss seeing him in the corridors of the negotiations, having a chat, a laugh, and feeling better even in the worst of negotiation calamities.
Benito Müller, Director of the ecbi
FIELD is very saddened to hear that Mama Konaté has passed away. His wisdom and guidance were invaluable to those involved with ecbi and to many, many others. Our thoughts are with his family.
On behalf of FIELD.
Joy Hyvarinen, Executive Director of the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development
Mama Konaté was a colleague and a friend to me: a climate diplomat who also worked on practical implementation matters of adaptation in his Country in Mali. I know him in both roles, an extraordinary man: kind, patient, persistent in pushing the climate agenda. He was an influential moderator, tirelessly working on compromise through a network that transcended boarders of country groupings and languages. We will all miss him, my thoughts are with his family.
Lorenz Petersen, GIZ Country Director Mozambique
Tout le peuple du Mali en apprenant le décès de Mr Mama Konaté, Directeur National de la Météorologie et Président de l’Organe Subsidiaire de Conseil Scientifique et Technologique (SBSTA) est resté stupéfait, consterné et meurtri face à cette perte énorme. Les mots manquent pour qualifier Mr Mama KONATE qui, sur tout les plans technique-social, économique et surtout religieux est resté humble, courtois et infatigable travailleur. Mama ne pouvait pas dire non face à n’importe quelle situation. Il disait toujours, je le cite "grâce à la volonté du miséricordieux il y aura une solution - sachons garder espoir". Aussi, Mama s’est toujours gardé et convaincu d’un résultat possible pour les changements climatiques, parce que pour lui l’avenir de l’humanité en dépendra. Dans ce contexte, il a toujours défendu l’Afrique, les Pays les Moins Avancés (PMA) et son pays le Mali. Il est mort les armes à la main. Alors faisons en sorte que son œuvre puisse se poursuivre pour le bien de toute l’humanité. Le peuple Malien remercie tous les efforts fournis par la Convention et l’ensemble de la communauté internationale dans la compassion. Les obsèques ont eu lieu le Samedi 19 Novembre 2011 à 10h00 chez lui-mêmeà Boulkassoumbougou (Bamako). Que son âme repose en paix.
Birama Diarra, Assistant Point focal Changements Climatiques (Mali)
Mama, tes frères et amis te pleurent toujours. Nous te savions souffrant; mais pas au point de nous quitter aussi tôt. Oui, c'est cette surprise qui nous ébranle. A chacune de nos communications téléphoniques ou par courriels, et lorsqu'on se voyait, les premières nouvelles demandées portaient sur ta santé, puis celles de ta famille. Nous sommes toujours sous le choc, désarmés, voire déboussolés car si la piété, l'amour, la simplicité, l'esprit de partage et l'humilité pouvaient nous affranchir de la mort, tu serais encore parmis nous. On a coutume de dire chez nous que "Dieu aussi aime les bonnes choses". C'est lui qui te rappele et nous sommes sûrs qu'il te réserve beaucoup mieux que sur terre. A ta famille et aux personnes qui te sont chères, nous leur exprimons toute notre compassion, notre solidarité et notre amitié. Que le Tout Puissant apaise leur coeur et leur donne la force de supporter le vide que tu as laissé. En tant que croyants, nous sommes conscients que nous sommes tous de passage; aussi nous devrions nous préparer pour le grand départ et garder espoir pour retrouver notre frère et ami au paradis. Nous prions afin que ton âme repose en paix en terre libre du Mali. Ton frère du Burkina Faso qui ne t'oubiera jamais.
Mamadou Honadia, Permanent Secretary of the National Council for Environment & Sustainable Development / Ministry of Environment & Sustainable Development (Burkina Faso)
I got to know Mama Konate long before I had the pleasure of meeting him in person. I heard his name and about his work from nearly every one I would come across. "Mama would know" or "let us ask Mama" or "let us inform him". Mama was "a bridge builder", someone who enjoyed confidence of all parties amid very polarized debate that we are usually accustomed off. This is a rare quality both as a human being and as a negotiator.
His sudden departure came as a shock to me. We lost an exceptional human being.
I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. I am confident that the leadership he gave to developing world on many issues as well as the prominent role he played on many difficult problems would remain with us in future.
Farrukh Khan; Co-chair, ecbi Advisory Committee; Lead climate change negotiator, Pakistan