Working Group II Chair Takao Shibata (Japan) explained that a solution had been found to the outstanding issues in draft decision A/AC.241/WG.II(X)/L.5 during informal consultations the previous evening, Wednesday 15 January. The revised version of the decision is entitled Committee on Science and Technology (CST): Preparatory measures to put in hand work on networking of institutions, agencies and bodies. It requests the Interim Secretariat to solicit proposals from an indicative list of competent organizations, contained in Annex II of the same document, and to undertake a survey and evaluation of existing networks, institutions, agencies and bodies willing to become units of a network that shall support the implementation of the Convention. The decision also requests the Interim Secretariat to circulate summaries of proposals from such organizations before COP-1. Finally, it recommends that the CST review the terms of reference and that the CST recommend a contractor for approval by the COP. Annex I contains the draft terms of reference and the proposed organization of work to be undertaken on networking of institutions, agencies and bodies.
The Chair noted that the location of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on the indicative list in Annex II in the document should be changed from Addis Ababa to Djibouti. The UK stressed that it had been agreed that the organizations that submit proposals for carrying out the survey should be asked to include costs and that these costs should be included in the budget for COP-1. The Chair said the Interim Secretariat would see to that. The draft decision was adopted.
Document L.6, Organization of the Work of the CST was adopted with amendments. The UK questioned the appropriateness of the reference to submitting the draft roster to COP-1 for approval, given that there was agreement to have no evaluation criteria for nominations. The US suggested deleting for approval by COP-1 and adding for establishment at COP-1, which was agreed. TANZANIA said the Interim Secretariat should prepare a draft annotated agenda for the first session of the CST, which was also agreed.
CHINA questioned how it would be possible for nominations of experts to take into account the need for an equitable geographic distribution. The Chair and the UK concurred, but both noted that previously agreed decisions on the procedures for the establishment of ad hoc panels include that language, and it remained in L.6.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggested adding a deadline for submission of names for the draft roster in paragraph 3, inviting Parties to nominate independent experts. The Chair suggested 15 May 1997. The UK and US expressed concern that a deadline would imply that the roster would be closed and no names could be added. BENIN, among others, supported a date but said it should be later than 15 May. UZBEKISTAN, supported by the US, suggested that the deadline be included in paragraph 4, establishment and maintenance of roster. The Chair suggested 31 May 1997 as the deadline. Delegates agreed to a re-ordered paragraph 4, based on a proposal by CHINA, requesting the Interim Secretariat to prepare a list of nominations received by 31 May 1997 and to submit such a list to COP-1 for the establishment of the roster of experts, after review by the CST.
Chair Shibata closed the last meeting of Working Group II and expressed his gratitude to all for their flexibility and cooperation. EGYPT, supported by the UK, thanked the Chair and the Interim Secretariat for their time and efforts.
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