The Group considered its report during a morning meeting, which was suspended twice for informal consultations. The Chair, Mahmoud ould El Ghaoth (Mauritania), informed delegates that a representative from the office of the UN Legal Counsel had been requested to clarify issues relating to the administrative arrangements of the Permanent Secretariat.
DESIGNATION OF A PERMANENT SECRETARIAT: ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS: The Chair presented the two proposed draft decisions, one from the G-77 and China (A/AC.241/WG.I(VII)/L.1), submitted at INCD-7, and one from the Chair (A/AC.241/WG.I(X)/L.1). He reported that informal consultations had been conducted on the issue of administrative arrangements, chaired by Antigua and Barbuda. Draft proposals from the informal consultations were also distributed to delegates. Tanzania, on behalf of the G-77 and CHINA, requested the legal expert to explain the reasoning behind the Chairs draft.
The expert specified that he was not providing a formal legal opinion but was making informal clarifications. He said that the CCD has established an independent treaty organization, which can receive administrative support from a UN body or agency without being provided the privileges and opportunities accorded by the juridical personalities granted under the UN Charter. The revised Chairs draft would enable it to belong to the UN, while being granted independence. He also said that UN entities must be answerable to either the UN Security Council or the General Assembly.
The Netherlands, on behalf of the EU, said that after consulting their own legal advisor they would prefer substituting the terms administrative arrangements with necessary services, arguing that the former is too narrow. This attracted prolonged debate.
Several delegates argued that it is difficult to define necessary services and that this change would necessitate making a request to the Secretary-General to alter his offer. The Chair suspended the meeting for 30 minutes for informal consultations, after which it was agreed that the text should be amended to that used in the Secretary-Generals offer, administrative and support arrangements.
The Group adopted the amended draft decision that: accepts the offer of the UN Secretary-General to provide administrative and support arrangements; requests the Secretary-General to appoint the Executive Secretary of the CCD, after consulting with the COP through its Bureau; states that the CCD should not be fully integrated into the work programme and management structure of any particular department or programme of the UN; decides to review these arrangements no later than COP-4; requests the Executive Secretary to pursue the issue of allotment of overhead to defer administrative expenses and to report the results to COP-2; and expresses appreciation to the UN system and agencies that have supported the Interim Secretariat. The G-77 and CHINA draft decision was withdrawn.
PROGRAMME AND BUDGET: During consideration of the draft decision, as contained in A/AC.241/WG.I(X)/L.3, Tanzania, on behalf of the G-77 and CHINA, said he had been informed that the end of February 1997 would be too late to submit written comments on the Secretariats document (A/AC.241/65), and he proceeded to issue a G- 77 and China statement. The Group: approves the Secretariats document; hopes the revised version will contain a budget indicating costs per item; supports the establishment of the Special and Voluntary Funds; supports working capital funds; and proposes that the cost of the Global Mechanism (GM) be funded by the host institution. The draft decision requests the Secretariat to circulate, at least 90 days before COP-1, the necessary draft decisions related to the programme of work and budget of the COP, as well as detailed budget estimates for the biennium 1998-1999.
There was a brief debate regarding the EUs suggestion to request the Interim Secretariat to carry out these tasks on the basis of comments made on this subject at the tenth and earlier sessions of the INCD. The consensus was to retain ...while taking full account.... The US suggestion to add as well as any comments from member States received by 15 February, was accepted. The draft decision was adopted.
DRAFT FINANCIAL RULES OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES, ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES AND THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT: The Group discussed this subject for the first time at INCD-10 Thursday morning. The Group held a brief discussion on financial rules as contained in Annex I of decision 9/8, in document A/51/76/Add.1. With consensus reached on the host institution of the Permanent Secretariat, delegates agreed to delete all references to UNEP. The Chair noted that Rule 23, decision procedures, was redundant and it was deleted. There was no consensus on RUSSIAs suggestion to add as well as in special cases of other particularly interested and affected parties in Rule 10, which refers to the creation of a special fund to support the participation of representatives of developing countries at the COP and meetings of its subsidiary bodies. However, it was agreed that groups should continue to consult on the issue. The rules were adopted.
IDENTIFICATION OF AN ORGANIZATION TO HOUSE THE GLOBAL MECHANISM: The Chair reported that the core group negotiating the function of mobilizing resources had not reached agreement. He suggested adopting an enabling decision (A/AC.241/WG.I(X)/L.2). The US proposed new elements, which were accepted. The decision: approves the text in Annex I on the functions of the GM and selection criteria for the host institution; transmits the Annex to COP-1; invites IFAD and UNDP to submit to the Secretariat revised versions of any new elements of their offers, including the proposed administrative operations and possibility for co-hosting, by 1 May 1997; and requests the Interim Secretariat to compile these submissions in a document for presentation at COP-1. It was agreed to transmit the decision to the Plenary for discussion because the G-77 and China had not had time to discuss it.
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