PART I: INTRODUCTION
ARTICLE 1 -- USE OF TERMS: This section is one of the most heavily bracketed of the text. Despite the efforts of a Contact Group, chaired by Egypt's Professor Kassas, to re-define the scientific terms little progress was made. Kassas attributed the lack of consensus to "politics" as objections were raised over some of his Group's proposals, which he said were purely scientific.
One important issue that the Secretariat must address is the definition of "countries in a position to provide assistance," which also includes "developed and other countries." The Latin Americans and Asians see this as a blatant attempt to bind the economically well-off developing countries to provide financial assistance, despite assurances from many developed countries that assistance is a broader term that also includes technical assistance. The other problem relates to the proposal to provide three annexes listing: affected countries; affected countries needing assistance; and countries in a position to provide assistance. The problem lies in the fact that the status of a country may change over time. Both proposals are based on similar provisions in the Biodiversity Convention.