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THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The first item of business for the Plenary should be the re-opening of Agenda Item 1 to address the accreditation of NGOs. It is not expected that there will be any problems and the list of NGOs (A/AC.241/9 and Add.1) should be easily adopted.

The Plenary will then discuss the presentation by Moustapha Soumar‚ of UNSO. The next speaker will be Dr. Marilyn Yakowitz, Special Advisor to OECD, followed by three interventions from NGO representatives: Juan Palao Iturregui, Consejo Andino de Manejo Ecol´┐Żgico; Vanaja Ramprasad, Third World Network; and Mamadou Lamine Thiam, FAVDO.

Following the NGO interventions, the Plenary will move to the fifth part of the information sharing segment, "Experience with international, regional, sub-regional and national programs to combat desertification and mitigate drought in developing countries." The first speaker will be from the Office of Environment and Land Management of the Southern Africa Development Conference (SADC). Two presentations will follow from the Sudano-Sahelian region: Maina Karaba, Officer in Charge of Environment at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD); and Fatou Ba, Senior Economist of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). Given time, there will be a presentation by Tlili Mustafa, Counsel to the Secretary-General of the Arab-Maghreb Union (UMA).

IN THE BREEZEWAYS: The Chair has circulated a draft non-paper through the Bureau to the regional groups elaborating the mandate of the two working groups. Following Amb. Kjell‚n's announcement yesterday morning, look for this document to appear as a CRP (Conference Room Paper) sometime today. The Chair's text may propose that the working groups follow the Climate Change negotiations model. In those negotiations, one working group dealt with legal and institutional issues, while the other working group negotiated the remainder of the convention, including the preamble, principles and objectives. One issue yet to be resolved is whether there should be a separate protocol for Africa. The talk in the corridors seems to indicate that the Africans do not have a common position on the issue of a regional protocol. The problem appears to be the status of the protocol and the difficulty in negotiating a protocol at the same time as the convention itself. Since the INCD must reach agreement on this issue before the end of the session, look for many delegates to discuss this in the breezeways over the next several days in anticipation of the Plenary discussion next week.

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