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WORKING GROUP II

"Yesterday the sun was shining, but there were a few drops of rain today," was the description Cameroon, Chair of the Sub-Working Group negotiating Articles 18, 19 and 20, gave of the Group's progress. Two sets of brackets in Article 18 still need to be removed in order to proceed to Articles 19 and 20. The Sub-Working Group on Articles 26 and 27, on subsidiary bodies, reported that the Group reached a consensus on a new Article 26, Advisory Panel on Research and Development, and would embark on the articles on the network and institutions. Revised text for Article 26 was circulated. Working Group II then completed consideration of Part V (Procedures) and Article 17 (Regional Implementation Annexes), and then reviewed the Regional Annex for Africa (A/AC.241/19).

ARTICLE 28 -- COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION: All the brackets were retained, as well as new brackets around the additional text proposed by the EU. The problem areas are linked to Article 9 (Basic Approach) and the categorization of countries in Article 1. The newly bracketed texts are in paragraph 3, "Affected [developing] country Parties..." and paragraph 5, "countries in a position to provide assistance...," as well as "...including information on the financial resources they have provided." The Chair suggested that interested delegations, including Benin (on behalf of Africa), Brazil and Greece (on behalf of the EU) should hold informal consultations to resolve these problems by next week. She also proposed that Prof. al-Kassas chair an informal group to deal with the categorization of countries.

ARTICLE 29 -- MEASURES TO RESOLVE THE QUESTIONS ON [COMPLIANCE][IMPLEMENTATION]: No consensus was reached on the two bracketed words in both the title and the text.

ARTICLE 30 -- SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES: Consensus was reached on paragraph 4 to retain the phrase, "it expires..." In addition, it was agreed that a contact group should deal with the arbitration procedures stipulated in sub-paragraph 2(a), particularly since the Committee is unlikely to negotiate an arbitration annex by June. Two alternatives were proposed: (1) to give the COP the mandate to negotiate the arbitration annex, and to make a provision for this in this Convention or (2) to utilize the Permanent Court of Arbitration. For consistency with paragraph 2(a) and (b), line 3 of paragraph 5 now reads: "...an arbitral tribunal or the International Court of Justice..."

ARTICLE 31 -- STATUS OF ANNEXES: The last line was amended to read: "...a reference to this Convention constitutes also a reference to its Annexes."

Articles 32 (Amendments to the Convention), 34 (Right to vote), 35 (Depositary), 38 (Interim arrangements) and 42 (Authentic texts) were adopted without any amendments.

ARTICLE 33 -- ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES: The Chair proposed that discussion on this article be postponed until the regional annexes are discussed. The US introduced new text, as paragraph 3, which was also bracketed.

ARTICLE 36 -- SIGNATURE: This article will be reworded by the Secretariat.

ARTICLE 37 -- RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION: This article was adopted with a minor stylistic amendment from the EU.

ARTICLE 39 -- ENTRY INTO FORCE: No agreement was reached.

ARTICLE 40 -- RESERVATIONS [OR EXCEPTION]: No agreement was reached on the brackets around "or exception."

ARTICLE 41 -- WITHDRAWAL: The brackets around "two" and "three" were retained in paragraphs 1 and 3, which deal with the obligations of a withdrawing party.

ARTICLE 17 -- REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION ANNEXES: This article was left in brackets pending discussion on the annexes.

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