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IN THE CORRIDORS

The Plenary scheduled for Wednesday morning was cancelled because INCD Chair Bo Kjell‚n needed more time to consult with the heads of the regional groups on his draft decision on the future work of the Committee. With this cancellation, and the fact that only Working Group I was able to meet, most activity focussed on the draft decision.

A meeting Tuesday evening between Kjell‚n and the heads of the regional groups had lasted longer than expected, concluding at 10:00 pm. The discussions focused on key aspects of the draft decision: the globality of desertification; the nature of the regional instruments; the open-endedness of the negotiating process on regional instruments; and the problem of discussing the nature of the instruments before agreement is reached on the content of the Convention. The lack of agreement Tuesday night generated several meetings during the day on Wednesday.

The regional groups met at 9:00 am, followed by a Bureau meeting at 10:00 am that established a tentative programme of work. This programme was subsequently overtaken by the day's events. The G-77 met at 10:30 am for further consultations. Kjell‚n then called another meeting of the heads of the regional groups to obtain their feedback to the revised draft decision. As the consultations took longer than expected, the informal Plenary scheduled for 11:00 was re-scheduled for 5:00 pm and later cancelled. Observers suggested that the Chair wanted to obtain the agreement of the regional groups before bringing the draft decision to the Plenary. The G-77 and the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) failed to reach agreement on the issues of regional instruments and the globality of desertification. Thus, in the early afternoon, further regional consultations were held by the African Group and WEOG. Consequently, Working Group II, which was scheduled to have an informal brainstorming session on the regional instruments, was cancelled.

After the meeting of the representatives of the regional groups within the G-77 at 5:00 pm, another consultation between Kjell‚n and the heads of the regional groups was held.

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