Discussion on the Global Mechanism (GM) was mainly conducted through informal meetings and consultations, which exclusively focused on the fourth function of the GM mobilizing and channelling of financial resources. A core group met during the second week, chaired by Pierre-Marc Johnson (Canada). Johnson, along with Bolong Sonko of the Gambia, drafted the negotiating text on the GM when there was an impasse during negotiations on the Convention at INCD-5.
The Working Group began discussion of the GM on the basis of Annex I of decision 9/6, as contained in document A/51/76/Add.1. They agreed to start with the bracketed paragraph 4 on the functions (mobilization of resources), for which three options were transmitted from INCD-9. Delegates initially expressed different views on which text should be used for negotiation. The Group quickly decided to conduct its work in an open-ended, informal working group and started a paragraph-by-paragraph reading of all three options. Little progress was made, prompting the establishment of a core group, with representatives from various regional and interest groups. The G-77 and China and the EU each drafted and circulated a non-paper on the issue under discussion. The G-77 and China text formed the basis for discussion.
The prolonged debate was rooted in divergent views regarding whether the GM should or should not mobilize resources for the implementation of programmes and projects of the CCD. There was agreement, however, for the EU proposal that the GM could mobilize resources for activities to catalyze resource mobilization. Some delegates argued that the Convention explicitly states that mobilizing resources is the role of the Parties, not the GM. Others felt that without a proactive GM to mobilize resources, the Convention would be dysfunctional. Other concerns related to the manner in which the negotiating text was structured, despite the fact that the paragraphs were lifted from the CCD, and that having a GM that disburses financial resources for implementation would require disbursement rules, for which provisions are lacking in the CCD.
The core group informally circulated an eight-paragraph informal text just before the closing Plenary. This informal text indicates consensus on the GMs functions to: promote actions leading to the mobilization and channelling of resources at all levels; promote the use of existing bilateral and multilateral financial mechanisms; encourage the provision of support at all levels to enable countries to meet their obligations; increase the efficiency and effectiveness of existing financial mechanisms; play a catalytic role in ensuring the availability of resources for projects and programmes; and promote and facilitate the transfer, acquisition and adaptation of technologies, as well as the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge. Three paragraphs remain unresolved regarding whether the GM can: direct resources mobilized through multilateral and bilateral organizations to countries, including new and additional resources; mobilize its own resources; and mobilize resources from the Global Environment Facility.
When Chair El Ghaouth presented his draft enabling decision for adoption to Working Group I, the G-77 and China asked for time to study it. Instead it was transmitted to the Plenary where it was adopted. The decision: approves the text in Annex I, with the exception of paragraph 4, 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, proposed budgetary implications for the functioning of the GM, and the possibility of co-hosting, by 1 May 1997; and requests the Interim Secretariat to compile these submissions in a document for presentation at COP-1.
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