PRE-SESSIONAL CONSULTATIONS: Two days of pre-sessional consultations will begin this morning. During these organizational meetings, delegates will make important decisions regarding the structure and the procedural mechanisms of the Conference. At the conclusion of these meetings, a set of recommendations will be forwarded to the Plenary for adoption on 3 June.
One of the first items on the agenda of the pre-sessional consultations will be the election of officers, including the Chair of the Conference, 39 Vice Chairs, an ex officio Chair and Rapporteur. Elections will also be held for Chairman of the Main Committee and four Vice Chairs, one whom will serve as Rapporteur. It is generally accepted that Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello will be elected as Chair of the Conference and will preside over the Plenary. The ex officio Chair, who will take over the responsibilities of chairing the Plenary when the Chair is not able to attend, is expected to be Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Lafer. It is also expected that Tommy T.B. Koh of Singapore will be elected Chair of the Main Committee.
Other items on the agenda of the organizational meeting include decisions on the agendas for the Plenary and the Main Committee, the agenda for the Summit portion of the Conference, the adoption of rules of procedure, and the organization of the Main Committee. With regard to the Main Committee, one of the issues to be dealt with is the creation of either formal sub-bodies or informal contact groups to deal with individual problem areas, including finance, technology transfer, atmosphere, biodiversity, biotechnology and the Statement of Forest Principles. Due to the lack of time, it is most likely that the Chair of the Main Committee will simply appoint coordinators who will then hold informal consultations and meetings in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issues left in bracketed text at PrepCom IV.
ORGANIZATION OF THE CONFERENCE: The Conference itself is to be divided into two main bodies: the Plenary and the Main Committee. The Plenary will be the site of the opening ceremony on Wednesday morning and the general debate from 3-11 June. On 12 June, the Summit segment of the Conference is expected to begin. At that point, only Heads of State will be allowed to speak in the Plenary. The Summit will continue on 13 June. If time permits, the Plenary will adjourn for a roundtable discussion restricted to Heads of State. On 14 June, the Plenary is expected to reconvene to adopt the report of the Main Committee and to conduct the closing ceremonies. The Main Committee will be the working committee of the Conference where negotiations will be conducted on the outstanding items in Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the Statement of Forest Principles.
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