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United Nations Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994, 4th part

16–27 January 2006 | Geneva, Switzerland

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 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB

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Highlights from Monday, 23 January 2006

Negotiations of the UN Conference on the Negotiation of the Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1994 (ITTA, 1994), Fourth Part resumed on Monday, 23 January with an increased sense of urgency. In the morning, delegates met in two working groups. Working Group I (WGI) revisited the issues of admission of observers and the definition of “special vote” before breaking up into informal contact groups. Working Group II (WGII) achieved consensus on statistics, and on the Special Account, but remain stalemated over the Administrative Account. In the afternoon, delegates convened in a Joint Working Group and discussed EC membership.


Working Group I

In the morning, Chair Attah pushed hard to achieve consensus, but delegates remained divided on several issues. Contact groups were formed to address "special vote" and "special sessions" of the Council, and were able to make some progress.


Iwan Krolis, Suriname, for the contact group on Special Sessions reported on areas of agreement and lack of agreement
Bipin Behari, India, said the language in the 94 agreement is often best
Left to right: Jacques Borel and James Gasana, Switzerland, proposed using “60% of consumers” rather than 2/3 as a requirement for holding a special vote
Producers and consumers negotiate language on requirements for a special session of the Council
A contact group negotiates the requirements for holding a special vote
Tri Tharyat, Indonesia, suggested reference to the definition of "special vote" in Article 2.8. Left to right: Bambang Tri Hartono, Wahjudi Wardojo, and Tri Tharyat
Marcial C. Amaro, Philippines, opposed a suggested reference to first attempting to reach consensus
Stephanie Caswell, US, agreed to accepting “special vote” if followed by “absent consensus”
Miyano Michiko, Japan, discussed issues related to "Decisions and Recommendations by the Council"

Working Group II

Working Group II, chaired by Jürgen Blaser (Switzerland), discussed: financial articles; Statistics, Studies and Information; Policy Work of the Organization; and Entry into Force. In the afternoon, Amb. Carlos Paranhos, Conference President, called for an informal meeting among interested players, to work with him to find agreed language.

Bjorg Merethe Luis, Norway, opposed a low cap on contributions to the Administrative Account
David Brooks, US, proposed adding a bracketed proposal for a 50% cap on contributions to special activities
Enzo Barattini, European Commission, favored reference to “expert meetings” rather than "expert panel meetings"
Ramón Carrillo Arrellane, Mexico, on administrative costs called for rebracketing inclusion of “Council meetings”
Zhang Kening, China, opposed by the US, called for differential treatment for developing Consumer members

Joint Working Group

The Joint Working Group, chaired by Alhassan Attah (Ghana), discussed membership and Signature, Ratification, Acceptance and Approval articles involving EU membership status.

New Zealand, the US and Japan opposed the EC language on membership due to, inter alia: its far-reaching implications regarding EC representation of EU member states; and its lack of clarity, given that ITTO is a commodity agreement with mixed membership. Left to right: Kathryn Youel Page, US, Hideo Fukushima, Japan, Charlotte Cudby, New Zealand
Juan Manuel Sanchez, Mexico, is concerned about the use of "government" instead of "state" in the Article on Membership
Mbella Mbella, Cameroon, agreed with Mexico and suggested as an alternative, "contracting parties"
Left to right: Carlos Gonzales Ortega and Fatima Majzoub, Venezuela 
Left to right: Hideo Fukushima, Japan, and Marcel Vernooij, The Netherlands

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Daily web coverage:
16 January - 17 January - 18 January - 19 January - 20 January
23 January -
24 January - 25 January - 26 January - 27 January


UNCTAD’s website for the ITTA, 1994 renegotiation, 4th part. Includes the provisional agenda and supporting documents
ITTO Secretariat
UNFF Website

UNFF Secretariat
UNFCCC Secretariat
CBD Secretariat
ENB coverage of ITTC-39

ENB coverage of the UN Conference for the Negotiation of a Successor Agreement to the ITTA, 1994 - Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3
YMB summary of the Country-Led Initiative “Scoping for a Future Agreement on Forests”, 16-18 November 2005, Berlin, Germany (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
ENB summary from UNFF-5: (English:
YMB summary from the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Conference, 6-8 June, 2005 Moscow, Russia: (HTML, PDF, TEXT)
YMB coverage the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Conference, 22-25 November 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia

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