Working Group I began its third reading of the text on Monday. Articles 22 and 23 were not reproduced in the revised text, as the Johnson Group will be dealing with these articles on financial resources and mechanisms.
PREAMBLE: The Group removed the brackets from paragraph 9 (relationship between desertification and social problems). The US insisted that paragraph 21 (relationship with other environmental conventions) remain bracketed. The EU preferred the second alternative for paragraph 23, providing that reference be made to donor coordination. In response to the concerns of the G-77 and other delegates that this proposal would limit coordination just to donors, the EU withdrew its proposal and the second version of the text was accepted.
The Russian Federation proposed a new paragraph giving particular attention to the problems of combatting desertification and drought in countries with economies in transition. The Chair noted that this proposal would remain bracketed pending review by the Johnson Group.
The G-77 and China proposed a new paragraph (using wording from the Biodiversity Convention) on the need for new and additional financial resources and appropriate access to relevant technologies. The Chair, disappointed that this paragraph was proposed at such a late date, referred this "financial article" to the Johnson Group. The EU, the US and Japan supported the Chair. Malaysia appealed that the Johnson Group should not turn into a graveyard. It is bracketed.
ARTICLE 1 BIS -- SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION: This article was deleted, as it was unnecessary.
ARTICLE 3 -- PRINCIPLES: Delegates agreed to delete the third version of sub-paragraph (a) (national sovereignty over natural resources), but kept the remaining two versions in brackets. The second option for sub-paragraph (b) (popular participation in the design of action plans) was also accepted. The US insisted that the entire article remain in brackets.
ARTICLE 4 -- GENERAL OBLIGATIONS: The brackets were removed around paragraph (b) on international trade, marketing arrangements and debt.
ARTICLE 5 -- OBLIGATIONS OF AFFECTED COUNTRY PARTIES: Cameroon objected to the phrase "that support the application of the provisions of this Article" in paragraph 2 (affected developed countries cannot receive financial resources under the Convention). He said this would imply the ability to accept only parts of this Convention. The EU (who proposed the paragraph) agreed to delete this phrase.
ARTICLE 7 -- PRIORITY TO AFRICA: Canada, Japan and the US still have problems with the second sentence, which "ensures" the provision of financial resources and other forms of support to Africa. The Gambia proposed alternative text that gives priority to Africa in the provision of financial resources, technical assistance and other forms of support. Both the original text and the Gambian proposal are bracketed.
ARTICLE 8 -- RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS: The US and Benin insisted that brackets remain around paragraph 2 (protection of rights under previously entered agreements).
ARTICLE 9 -- BASIC APPROACH (ACTION PROGRAMMES): Both versions of paragraph 1 (development of national action programmes) remain bracketed pending further consultations within the EU.
ARTICLE 11 -- FIELDS TO BE COVERED IN NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: As a result of the weekend work on the African Annex, delegates agreed to delete this article. The Chair will submit a new Article 11 on Tuesday regarding the principle of national action programmes that mentions that the details are in the regional annexes.
ARTICLES 12 AND 13 -- SUB-REGIONAL AND REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: The Chair asked if delegates could accept the Chinese proposal that deletes the existing articles and replaces them with an article referring to the regional annexes. Benin commented on the need to distinguish between regional and sub-regional action programmes. The Chair will circulate new language, based on the Chinese proposal.
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