Working Group II was originally scheduled to discuss the revised negotiating text of the Regional Implementation Annex for Africa. However, since the text was only distributed at the beginning of the afternoon, the Chair decided to postpone discussion until the evening session to give delegates a chance to review it. The Group then discussed outstanding articles.
ARTICLE 1 -- USE OF TERMS: The definition of terms prepared by the Group chaired by Prof. al-Kassas was accepted by the Working Group. On sub-paragraphs (e) and (f), the Chair noted continuing disagreement on the country categories. Benin preferred the second option for (f) on affected countries needing assistance. The US requested postponement of discussions since it was awaiting further instructions from Washington. On sub-paragraph (h) (regional economic integration), delegates could not agree on the removal of the brackets around "sub-region." The EU felt it was superfluous, while the African Group maintained that its exclusion would be prejudicial to smaller groupings. The Chair asked the UK and Benin to work out compromise text. On paragraph 2, no agreement was reached on the establishment of a glossary.
ARTICLE 24 -- CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: Paragraphs 1, 2 and sub-paragraphs 2(a)-(f) were adopted. On sub-paragraph (g), the EU requested retention of the brackets around "and 33," pending resolution of Article 33 (Adoption and amendment of Annexes). Brackets were retained in sub-paragraph (h) on budgetary matters. Sub-paragraphs 2(i)-(k), and paragraphs 3 and 4 were adopted, but no agreement was reached on paragraph 5 (sessions of the COP). Both options for paragraph 6 (Bureau) remain in brackets. Agreement was reached on paragraph 7 (participation of observers), pending discussion on the secretariat.
ARTICLE 25 -- [PERMANENT] SECRETARIAT: Paragraph 1 now reads: "A [Permanent] Secretariat is hereby established." No agreement was reached on the only remaining contentious sub-paragraph 2(c) (assistance to affected developing countries). Delegates agreed to adopt the first option of paragraph 3 (COP designation of the Secretariat), with the deletion of "decide its location."
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