PLENARY: The majority of speakers on today's seemingly endless list may well be addressing their remarks primarily toward their home television audiences with few surprises expected. Tomorrow's list includes Lewis Preston, President of the World Bank, who is expected to pledge bank support to help developing countries develop environmental action plans and, as well, that the World Bank will make a contribution to the IDA-10 "Earth Increment" for national environmental issues. Other notable speakers include Enrique Iglesias, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, who will probably call for regional institutions to play a greater role in the financing and follow-up of UNCED activities.
MAIN COMMITTEE: The Main Committee will begin to clean up the remaining bracketed text not being discussed in the Contact Groups. The Committee will work its way through Agenda 21 chapter-by-chapter over the next week, beginning with the Preamble this morning. Contact Groups will also begin meeting today. The schedule will be announced in this morning's Journal. What follows is a brief summary of the key problem areas to be addressed by the eight Contact Groups:
Financial Resources: It appears likely that the financial resources contact group will be divided into two sub-groups. The first one will address the actual Agenda 21 chapter on finance and the second sub-group will deal with the financial aspects of the means of implementation sections to each Agenda 21 chapter. It is possible that the newly-appointed finance coordinator, Amb. Rubens Ricupero, will possibly chair the latter, with Brazilian Finance Minister Marcelio Marques Moreira to possibly chair the former. While agreement has been reached to base negotiations on the G-77 and China text from PrepCom IV (L.41/rev.1), several Northern countries will attempt to transfer many of the provisions of the final text that emerged from PrepCom IV (L.75) into the L.41 text. Another important issue that will arise pertains to the putative movement currently afoot to eliminate the "Means of implementation" sections in every Agenda 21 chapter and to replace them with one general statement of total estimated costs. Discussions will also focus on the mandate and operations of the GEF as the funding mechanism for the global conventions. One key issue with the GEF involves a proposal to involve developing countries within GEF decision-making subject to the proviso that donor countries cannot be overruled by a majority of developing countries. Discussions will also focus on issues regarding replenishment of existing resources for the funding of Agenda 21. A potentially contentious issue pertains to the Earth Increment to the IDA. The European Community has formally stated its commitment to IDA additionality while certain other Northern countries remain flatly opposed.
Technology Transfer: The key issue to be resolved pertains to the terms upon which environmentally appropriate technology will be transferred from North to South. The latter insists that technology be transferred on preferential or concesssional terms, while many northern countries continue to insist that such technology be transferred at market rates. The European Community and the Nordics have adopted positions supportive of technology transfer on favorable terms that not only respect intellectual property rights but the special needs of developing countries as well.
Institutions: One of the key issues to be resolved pertains to the reporting process for the proposed Sustainable Development Commission. One option favored by many delegations would have the Commission reporting directly to ECOSOC, while another approach would require the Commission to report to both ECOSOC and the General Assembly.
Atmosphere: The entire chapter on Atmosphere was bracketed at the last Plenary session of PrepCom IV by Yemen, on behalf of the Arab Group. The Arabs protested not only the perceived "over-emphasis" on energy efficiency and fossil fuel consumption reduction, but the chapter's perceived prejudice of the work of the INC. The key challenge for the contact group will be to find a compromise solution to the programme area on energy. It is anticipated that the OPEC countries will insist on a clause-by-clause reworking of the document.
Legal Instruments: Some of the more difficult issues to be resolved include dispute settlement, the global environmental protection convention, developing country compliance with international agreements; and the consideration of means to prevent deliberate large-scale environmental destruction.
CLIMATE CHANGE CONVENTION: A ceremony to mark the opening for signature of the Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Conference Room 2 today at 11:00 am. The ceremony will be chaired by Brazilian President Fernando Collor and will conclude with his signature of the Convention. The Convention will remain open for signature at RioCentro through 14 June and thereafter at UN Headquarters in New York from 20 June 1992 to 19 June 1993.
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