Working Group I was scheduled to convene an informal session at 3:00 pm to discuss the Secretariat's paper on "Possible Categories to Structure Articles Containing Commitments." This paper was prepared at the request of Canada and a few other delegations. However, due to the consultations in and around the Plenary upstairs, there was no quorum (50 countries). The Chair, Ahmed Djoghlaf was thus unable to call the meeting to order.
At 5:15 pm, after the Plenary had concluded its brief session, Working Group I was finally convened. The Chair announced that it was now impossible to hold the informal session due to the lack of time, so instead, delegations who wished to comment on the paper should provide these in writing to the Secretariat.
The Rapporteur, A. Ovchinnikov, then introduced the draft report of Working Group I, as contained in document A/AC.241/WG.I/L.1. The report is divided into three sections: the organization of work; discussion of the topics, and adoption of the report. The Chair explained that this is a standard factual procedural report. Sweden requested an amendment to paragraph 26 to include the reference that one delegate spoke on behalf of the Nordic States on the issue of financial resources and mechanisms. The Secretariat explained that this report was actually submitted before the conclusion of the discussion on financial resources. The report will be revised accordingly.
Tunisia then said that he had expected that this report would reflect what was said and what was done, but this report contains almost nothing. Delegations have to prepare reports for their capitals and this report is of little use. Instead, delegates will have to draw from their own notes. Benin added that at this stage it would be helpful to know what has, in fact, been achieved. Sudan suggested that the summaries that the Chair provided at the end of each discussion would be useful in this regard. The Chair responded that during the past two weeks the Working Group had heard approximately 298 statements and that all these statements had been carefully recorded by the Secretariat. This report is not a summary record of the meeting. To include all of the statements made would require several volumes. Instead this is a record of the Working Group's deliberations that will be sent to the General Assembly as part of the report of the Committee, as has been done in the climate change negotiations.
Burkina Faso requested an informal document that contains the Chair's summaries. Niger, supported by Peru, Chad and Tunisia, suggested annexing the Chair's summaries to the report. Bolivia and Argentina supported the draft report as it would be impossible to summarize all the statements made during the deliberations. The Chair said that he understood these concerns and the Committee thus agreed to annex the Chair's summaries to the report of the Working Group. With no further comment, the report of Working Group I was adopted.
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