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WORKING GROUP II

By the end of the day, the Secretariat had distributed the revised texts for Articles 1 (Use of Terms), 19 (Research and Development), 20 (Transfer, acquisition, adaptation and development of Technology), and 24 (Conference of the Parties). Cameroon, Chair of the Sub-Working Group on Articles 18, 19 and 20, reported that consensus has been attained on most of Article 18. He expects the discussions to be completed by the end of this week. The Group then embarked on Part IV (Institutions) and discussed Articles 24 (The Conference of the Parties) and 25 ([Permanent] Secretariat). The Group adjourned the meeting early to allow a newly created Sub-Working Group (the fourth), chaired by Prof. al-Kassas (Egypt), to discuss the subsidiary bodies (Articles 26, 26 Bis, 26 Tir and 27).

ARTICLE 24 -- CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: Sub-paragraph 2(a) was amended to read "periodically review, the implementation... in light of the experience gained at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels."

Sub-paragraph 2(b): Algeria, supported by Benin and Brazil, and the EU made alternative proposals. The only agreement reached was that the COP should "review the reports and make recommendations on them..."

Sub-paragraph 2(c) and (d) were adopted, but no agreement was reached on sub-paragraph 2(e), which remains bracketed.

The EU proposed merging sub-paragraph 2(f) with paragraph 3 to read: "Agree upon and adopt, by consensus, at its first session rules of procedure and financial rules for itself and any subsidiary bodies. The rules of procedure, shall include decision-making procedures from others not already covered by decision-making procedures stipulated in this Convention. Such procedures may specify the majorities required for the adoption of particular decisions." Benin, Algeria and Morocco could not agree to this formulation and the Chair asked delegations to consult informally.

Sub-paragraph 2(g), which makes reference to Articles 32 and 33, was not discussed. Sub-paragraph 2(h) empowers the COP to approve a comprehensive programme and regular budget either from "agreed assessed contributions" or the "regular budget" of the UN. No consensus was reached so the Chair urged delegations to consult on the issue.

Sub-paragraph 2(i): Canada supported the NGOs' proposal on their role in information dissemination, but the amendment was bracketed, pending G-77 and China consultations. Sub- paragraph 2(k) was shortened to: "exercise other functions as may be necessary for the achievement of the objective of the Convention."

Paragraph 5: Only the three-month notice required for an intended extraordinary meeting was agreed upon, and delegates were asked to consult informally regarding the required 1/3 or 1/4 support for such a meeting, and the proposal that the Bureau may call the meeting.

Paragraph 6 on the composition of the Bureau has two options. The G-77 opted for the first and the EU for the second. The Chair suggested that they consult informally to attain consensus.

In paragraph 7, which deals with observer status for agencies or States attending the COP, delegates agreed to delete the brackets around "national or." However, no agreement was reached regarding the brackets around the word "permanent."

ARTICLE 25 -- [PERMANENT] SECRETARIAT: No agreement was reached on paragraph 1, which deals with the establishment of the [Permanent] Secretariat, although the Swiss proposal that states, "The composition of the Secretariat will be decided by the first Conference of the Parties," was accepted as a paragraph 1 bis.

Paragraph 2 lists the functions of the Secretariat. Sub- paragraph 2(a) was adopted. The discussion on sub-paragraph 2(b) on compiling reports focused on questions of style, which were delegated to the Secretariat to resolve.

Sub-paragraph 2(c) was the subject of proposals from both the EU and Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China. The EU proposal reads: "To advise affected developing country Parties, on request, particularly in Africa, in the compilation of information required of them under the provisions of the Convention." The G-77 proposed the deletion of the brackets around "needing assistance" and "the provisions of the Convention." No agreement was reached.

Sub-paragraphs (d),(f) and (g) were adopted. Although NGOs proposed that they participate in the coordination of activities in paragraph 2(e), the text was agreed to without amendment.

There were two versions of paragraph 3, which state the COP shall designate the Secretariat. Delegates agreed to delete the brackets around "permanent" in the first version and to retain the brackets around the second version.

ARTICLE 26 -- DESERTIFICATION RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY AND EVALUATION NETWORK AND ADVISORY COUNCIL: There are three versions of Article 26. After general discussion, it was agreed that a small group, chaired by Prof. al-Kassas, would work out a compromise.

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