2:59 pm. This was to be the last meeting in the Trusteeship
Council Chambers, and the last session to be chaired by Ambassador
Insanally (shown here waiting for delegate to take their seats).
Co-Chair Ristimńki opened the closing Plenary at midnight in Conference
Room Two and introduced the draft report of IFF-4. Delegates considered
and adopted each section of the report along with oral amendments
read by the Co-Chairs. Co-Chair Asadi then asked delegates to speak
to unresolved issues surrounding the proposed international arrangement
which had been under discussion in the contact group on Category
III, and suggested delegates take a short break for consultation.
reconvened at 2:00 am. The G-77/CHINA remarked that the debate now
centered around a couple of words with stronger or weaker connotations
for a possible legal framework on forests, and said
the G-77/CHINA had been unable to agree to wording that would adequately
express emotions and allow the debate to move forward in a manner
that would allow them to feel comfortable. Chair Asadi said progress
hinged on a paragraph on initiating a process to consider preparations
for a legal framework on forests. CANADA noted its preference for
text with referrence to developing a legal framework. The G-77/CHINA
opposed using the word develop.
states that "finances can kill a devil... maybe even an
angel" and appeals for the Co-Chair's intervention with regards
to the lack of financial committments in the draft text.
it was 2:15 am and hoping that progress would be made, Co-Chair
Asadi invited key delegates to participate in an informal consultation.
Right: Asadi entering the chambers where the informals were held,
For two and
a half hours, a handful of delegations met in the informal consultation
while the most others waited in the conference room.
am: Everton Vargas, Brazil (on the right), updating members of
the Colombian delegation on progress made. Rumours were circulating
that the informals were dead-locked, and that the IFF might have to
forward bracketed text to CSD-8...
am: From left to right: Maini, Ristimńki and the Osita Anaedu
(Nigeria), Representative of the G77/China, emerging from the back
room. Anaedu immediately went to consult with members of the Group
of 77 and China >>
am: From left to right: Andrey Vasiliyev, Division for Sustainable
Development (DESA) listens as the spokesperson for the EU updates
Co-Chair Asadi on the tense situation at the informals.
am: Canadian delegation emerges from the chambers at the back
of the room, stating the paragraph 3c (process for considering an
LBI) has been resolved to the satisfaction of all.
am: Members of the EU gathered around a piece of proposed text
freshly released from the informals.
5:55 am, Co-Chair Asadi resumed the Plenary and announced that delegates
had agreed to text stating that the ECOSOC and GA would, within
five years and on the basis of the agreed to assessment of the arrangement,
"consider with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate
for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. This
process could develop the financial provisions to implement any
future agreed legal framework." They also agreed to text stating:
"take steps to devise approaches towards appropriate financial and
tech support to enable the implementation of SFM, as proposed or
recommended under the IPF and IFF processes." Delegates then adopted
the text on the proposed arrangement as well as the report of the
meeting. Asadi then proposed, and delegates adopted, an oral decision
stating that the IFF adopts text on the draft decision and decides
to convey this to the CSD for consideration and appropriate action.
thanked the delegates and the IFF Secretariat, and commended delegates
for never having wavered from the task at hand (RealAudio
of Asadi's address). The G-77/CHINA hoped that concrete
steps for implementation of IPF and IFF proposals for action would
now begin. Noting that some key issues of finance, transfer of EST
and trade remain unresolved, he said the crux of the issue is in
the control of global markets for forest products and remarked that
the five countries who comprise 53% of the market have the future
of forests in their hands. He said developing countries are marginalized
from access to global markets.
In closing, he hoped the proposed arrangement would not meet the
same fate of the IPF/IFF proposals and that implementation will
become the watchword (RealAudio of
G-77/China statement). The EU said the IFF has been an enriching
learning experience. CANADA identified the IFF process as the most
significant accomplishment by the CSD and said he was proud of achieving
what Canada has wanted for so long (RealAudio
of Canada's statement). The US said international forest
policy has stepped into a new stage. Jag Maini, IFF Secretariat,
also extended his gratitude and congratulated delegates on work
well done. Remarking on the rising sun outside the conference room
window, Co-Chair Ristim´┐Żki commented that "the sun also rises and
so does the IFF." He described the IFF as a collective experience
with delegates driving national interests yet managing to serve
a common goal. He thanked the IFF and CSD Secretariats, international
organizations, NGOs, and indigenous peoples for their contributions
and gaveled IFF-4 to a close at 6:50 am on Saturday, 12 February
(RealAudio of Ristim´┐Żki statement).