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WORKING GROUP I

ARTICLE 11 -- FIELDS TO BE COVERED IN NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Discussion resumed on the second version of this article in A/AC.241/15/Rev.1. After a rather lengthy and rhetorical discussion on paragraph (c) on the economic environment, the Chair concluded that agreement on both this paragraph and the entire article was not possible at this point. The Chair suspended discussion since some delegates still question the placement of this article in the Convention, while others objected to specific paragraphs.

ARTICLE 12 -- SUB-REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Greece, on behalf of the EU, suggested using the same language in this chapeau that it proposed in Article 9 (all affected developing country Parties and those developed country Parties that voluntarily agree to develop national action programmes). The US could not accept this language. China proposed deleting both Articles 12 and 13 and replacing them with the following: "Affected developing country Parties shall consult and cooperate to prepare, as appropriate, sub-regional or regional action programmes, in accordance with relevant regional implementation annexes." Several delegates wanted to examine this proposal so the Chair postponed discussion of both Articles 12 and 13.

ARTICLE 14 -- MEASURES TO MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT: The US and the EU reiterated their objection to this article. The US proposed moving paragraph (a) to Article 11, (b) to Article 10 and (c) and (e) to either Article 10 or 11, and deleting paragraph (d). Benin, Brazil, Mali and Senegal argued for its retention.

Paragraph (a): The first set of brackets were removed and the compromise text reads: "the establishment and/or strengthening, as appropriate, of early warning systems..." The second set of brackets was also removed and it now reads: "...and mechanisms for assisting displaced persons."

Paragraph (c): Brackets were removed in the first part of this paragraph, which now reads: "the establishment and/or strengthening of food security systems, including storage and marketing facilities, particularly in rural areas." The second part, "better management of food aid," remains bracketed, since some delegations felt it is covered in other Conventions.

The language in paragraph (d) on alternative livelihoods remains in brackets. Paragraph (e) was amended to read, "development of sustainable irrigation programmes for both crops and livestock." Saudi Arabia's proposal for a new paragraph, which would support research in the field of cloud seeding, was placed in brackets.

ARTICLE 14 BIS -- INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: The EU and the US felt this paragraph was superfluous and should be deleted, but the G-77 objected. It remains bracketed.

ARTICLE 15 -- SUPPORT FOR THE ELABORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION PROGRAMMES: Delegates agreed to remove the brackets from the title.

Chapeau: Although brackets remain around the options for categories of countries, the rest of the chapeau now reads: "...shall, as mutually agreed, support action programmes....In providing such support, priority should be given to African countries and the least developed countries. Supporting measures [shall][may] include..."

Sub-paragraph (a): As amended by the EU and the US, the new, simplified version reads: "financial cooperation to provide predictability for action programmes, allowing for necessary long-term planning."

Sub-paragraph (b): The US, Sweden and the EU objected to the phrase "assistance-delivery mechanisms" and the first part of the text was amended to read: "elaboration and the use of cooperation mechanisms..."

Sub-paragraph (d) was amended by the EU and Chile and now reads: "and, as appropriate, administrative and budget procedures that increase the efficiency of cooperation and support programmes."

ARTICLE 16 -- COORDINATION IN THE ELABORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION PROGRAMMES: There were two versions of Article 16. The first version contained two options for paragraph 2 and Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, introduced a third option. This generated lengthy, and for the most part, confusing debate. Consensus was finally reached to: (1) agree on paragraph 1 of the first version; (2) retain paragraph 2 of the first version without brackets, but with brackets around the words "needing assistance"; (3) transfer the second option for paragraph 2, as amended by the G-77, to one of the articles on finance (22 or 23) or the regional annexes; and (4) introduce a new paragraph 3 from the latter part of the second version of Article 16 that reads, "The purpose of such arrangements shall be to monitor.... priorities mandated by the Convention."

ARTICLE 21 -- CAPACITY BUILDING, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: Sub-paragraph 1(a) bis was accepted, although some delegates thought research capacity was adequately covered in Article 19.

All brackets in sub-paragraph 1(b) were removed. The formula used in other paragraphs, "establishment and/or strengthening, as appropriate," was accepted in the beginning. Sweden withdrew her objection to the use of the term "natural" resources, and the other option, "land and water," was deleted.

Saudi Arabia called for the deletion of sub-paragraph 1(e), on training in the use of alternative energy resources. Nine delegates took the floor and appealed to the Saudis, but they would not concede and the paragraph is now bracketed.

Sub-paragraph 1(f), on capacity building for information collection, analysis and exchange, still contains brackets around two phrases. Some delegates thought both (f) and (g) were better suited to Article 18.

Paragraph 2: Although delegates agreed to delete the last sentence, which was bracketed, a new set of brackets was introduced. Portugal proposed including the same language in this paragraph as the EU had proposed for Articles 9 and 12. Since this has not been agreed to, it was placed in brackets.

The two versions of paragraph 4 (education and training centres) remain bracketed, since the G-77 and China are preparing a new proposal.

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