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WORKING GROUP II

Discussions continued on procedural matters with the Chair expressing her hope that the spring-like weather would put delegates in the mood for compromise, friendship and sincerity.

ARTICLE 29 -- MEASURES TO PREVENT DISPUTES: This articles was re-opened for discussion, but no further comments were raised.

ARTICLE 30 -- SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES: Delegates agreed to remove the brackets around paragraphs 2-6. They agreed to retain brackets around the new text proposed by Greece outlining a possible means of dispute settlement to read "... arbitration in accordance with the procedures adopted by the COP as soon as is practicable in an annex". Tunisia said that this prejudges the fate of the Convention. The rationale is to avoid drafting a new annex on arbitration.

Australia suggested an amendment to sub-paragraph 4, which determines the expiration of a declaration in order to avoid inconsistency between the ratification and date of expiration. Given the lack of clarity of the amendment, the Chair asked the delegates to discuss it among themselves and transmit their comments back to the Secretariat.

Sub-paragraph 6 deals with settlement of disputes between parties, the UK suggested an amendment that identifies the three different types of dispute settlement techniques.

ARTICLE 31--STATUS OF ANNEXES: Argentina suggested that this article be considered together with Article 33 on Adoption and Amendment of Annexes. The Netherlands, supported by Benin and Egypt, said that the two were different issues that should be kept separate. The Latin American and Caribbean group was concerned that Article 31 would not provide sufficient recognition to the other regional instruments. Benin, explained that this article does not preclude the COP from adding other annexes. The article was adopted ad referendum.

ARTICLE 32 --AMENDMENTS: Agreement was reached regarding Benin's proposal on a 2/3 voting majority. Sweden asked the group to consider the need for a paragraph on protocols. This led to a protracted debate, which was resolved with delegates agreeing to the term "annex", as agreed at INCD-2.

ARTICLE 33-- ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES: The Latin American and Caribbean group was concerned that this article discriminates against other regional instruments that are expected to be completed after the Convention. Paragraph 1 proposes a different procedure for their adoption. China concurred and proposed a new paragraph 1 bis "An amendment to a regional implementation annex shall be proposed and adopted in accordance with the procedure as set forth in article 32, provided that in adopting such amendment the majority vote provided in that article, includes a 2/3 or 3/4 majority of the votes represented and voting. The entire article was bracketed.

ARTICLE 34-38 --ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES; RIGHT TO VOTE; DEPOSITARY; SIGNATURE; RATIFICATION AND ACCESSION; AND INTERIM ARRANGEMENTS: These articles were adopted ad referendum with minor amendments to articles 35 and 37.

ARTICLE 39-- ENTRY INTO FORCE: There was protracted debate on the appropriate number of ratifications for entry into force with most African countries favoring 30. All references to the optional number of ratifications were bracketed.

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