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RULES OF PROCEDURE

Ambassador Arba Diallo, the Officer-in-Charge of the INC-D's Secretariat, then took the floor to introduce the next item on the agenda -- adoption of the rules of procedure. The draft rules of procedure prepared by the Secretariat (A/AC.241.2) were based on the relevant rules of procedure of the UN General Assembly, while taking into account resolution 47/188 and relevant rules of procedure from the climate change negotiations.

Colombia, on behalf of the Group of 77, and Denmark, on behalf of the European Community, both said that they could not approve the rules of procedure until their groups had a chance to meet and discuss them. Kjell‚n responded that adoption of the rules of procedure would be postponed until the following day, but that he wanted to hear preliminary comments at this time.

Only a few of the 51 draft rules generated comment. Rule 9 addresses the duties of the Secretary-General of the UN within the context of the INC-D. Tunisia and China pointed out that the language used in the climate change rules of procedure were preferable to those stated here, including the specification that the UN Secretary-General shall be the Secretary-General of the INC.

Cuba raised questions about the precedents used in the formulation of rules 27 (work will be accomplished by general agreement) and 29 (decisions shall be made by a majority of members present and voting). Diallo said that the language was taken from the climate change negotiations. The US, supported by the UK and Japan, proposed new language based on the rules of procedure from the biodiversity negotiations.

The only other draft rule of procedure to generate discussion was rule 49 on the participation of NGOs. The US proposed new language that would set out a specific accreditation procedure for NGOs, based on the procedures used during UNCED. India suggested using the procedures established during the climate change negotiations. Kjell‚n recommended that interested parties meet the following morning to discuss this and the other rules that needed revision.

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