Delegates considered the outstanding language in the revised negotiating text of the rules of procedure of the COP (A/AC.241/48/Rev.2). Seven rules contained bracketed text. The rules on notification of sessions, participation of specialized agencies, method of voting for general matters and the determination of the authentic text in case of differences in the translations were resolved. The question of the size and composition of the Bureau attracted protracted debate, including several informal consultations.
Under the notification of sessions (Rule 5) it was agreed that the Permanent Secretariat shall notify all Parties of the dates and venue of an ordinary session, and that notification of the date and venue of an extraordinary session shall be pursuant to rule 4, paragraph 3 (when extraordinary sessions can be held) and paragraph 4" (if held at written request). On the participation of UN specialized agencies (Rule 6), it was agreed to keep the brackets until it has been decided whether the Global Mechanism should be housed by one or several organizations.
The method of voting for general matters (Rule 51) shall be in the order used or established by the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, which is in English alphabetical order. Rule 58 now states that official documents of the sessions shall be drawn up in one of the official languages and translated into the other official languages.
The Chair opened debate on: Rule 22, paragraph 1, election of officers to the COP Bureau; Rule 31, election of officers to subsidiary bodies; and Rule 46, on majority voting. He had hoped that by resolving Rule 22, the other two would be solved automatically. However, delegates seemed reluctant to resolve the issue of the size and composition of the Bureau. Initially, there was disagreement on whether there should be three or nine Vice Presidents on the COP Bureau, as suggested by the UK and US and the G-77 and China, respectively. This would make the total number of Bureau members five or 11, including the COP President and the Chairperson of the Committee on Science and Technology. The UK pointed out that the number would then also be the same for bureaus of subsidiary bodies, such as the Committee on Science and Technology or ad hoc panels, and suggested adding the specification of four Vice-Chairpersons to Rule 31. The US could agree to nine members if it was also agreed that every geographical region shall be represented by at least two members in Rule 22, paragraph 1. The G-77 and China objected, stating that, considering the aims of the Convention, Africa should not be restricted to only two seats on the Bureau. Spain wanted to retain adequate representation of affected Country Parties in regions referred to in the implementation annexes of the Convention. Some delegations from countries that are affected but not included in any annex disagreed with Spains proposal because it is exclusive and conflicts with the geographical representation mentioned above.
During the second week of the session, informal consultations appeared to be moving toward 11 Bureau members, if it were stated in Rule 31 that subsidiary bodies bureaus would have five members (four Vice-Chairpersons). There also seemed to be agreement to delete the reference to two members per geographical region, since there is a reference to equitable geographical distribution in the already agreed, unbracketed text. Despite numerous attempts by the Chair in formal and informal talks, these issues were not resolved and were passed to the COP.
The draft decision, A/AC.241/WG.II(X)/L.1 (Rules of procedure of the COP), was adopted with the amendment that the number of the document that will contain the final decision will be left blank so that an amendment can be made later when all, or parts, of the outstanding issues in Rule 6, paragraph 1, Rule 22, paragraph 1, Rule 31 and Rule 47, paragraph 1 (previously Rule 46), are resolved. Delegates also added language that the bracketed language on Bureau size be provisionally applied.
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