ENB:04:47 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

INFORMAL PLENARY

The informal Plenary, under the chairmanship of Bo Kjell‚n, discussed the bracketed text in 14 articles during the course of the day. As a result of these discussions, agreement was reached and 13 sets of brackets in four articles were deleted. Brackets still remains in 13 of these articles, pending further consultations.

ARTICLE 16 -- INFORMATION COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND EXCHANGE: Ethiopia reported back on the consultations on sub-paragraph (g) (exchange of information on local and traditional knowledge). The issue is whether this exchange of information is subject to national legislation and/or policies. Consultations will continue.

ARTICLE 19 -- CAPACITY BUILDING, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: In sub-paragraph 1(f) (appropriate training and technology in the use of alternative energy sources), Saudi Arabia suggested deleting reference to renewable energy resources. Benin, the EU, Australia, Armenia, Mali, Mongolia, Norway, the US and Colombia supported the existing sub-paragraph. The Chair asked Saudi Arabia to consult with Benin on this matter.

ARTICLE 22 -- CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: Delegates agreed to provisionally remove the brackets from sub-paragraph 2(f), which reads "adopt amendments to the Convention in accordance with Articles 30 and 31," pending the outcome of discussions on Article 31. Agreement was reached on paragraph 5 (extraordinary meetings) to delete the bracketed text. In paragraph 6 (structure of the Bureau), delegates agreed to delete the brackets around the text that ensures adequate representation of those countries affected by drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

In paragraph 8 (criteria for the implementation of Article 18), Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil wanted to retain the paragraph, while the US, Canada and Australia supported its deletion. Delegates agreed to further discuss this issue in conjunction with Ethiopia's consultations on Article 16, since both deal with the benefits derived from the use of local and traditional knowledge.

ARTICLE 23 -- [PERMANENT] SECRETARIAT: The Secretariat reported that, according to the UN Legal Office, it does not matter legally if the secretariat is referred to as "permanent." The G-77 and China insisted on retaining "permanent." The EU, Norway and Japan favored its deletion. Canada, the US, and Australia said they could accept either formulation. No agreement was reached.

The brackets in sub-paragraph 2(b) were deleted and it now reads "to compile and transmit reports submitted to it." Agreement was also reached on 2(c), which now reads: "to facilitate assistance to affected developing country Parties...in the compilation and communication of information required in accordance with the provisions of the Convention."

ARTICLE 24 -- ADVISORY PANEL ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT or SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVISORY COUNCIL: There are two versions of Article 24 in the text. The first creates a panel of experts in fields relevant to desertification and drought selected by the COP. The latter creates a council open to all Parties. The G-77 and China wanted to defer further discussion. Australia, the US, the EU and Canada supported the first option. Brazil argued that all countries interested in participating should be allowed to. The Chair warned against establishment of a bureaucratic structure. Israel stressed the need for independent scientific advice. The Chair asked Egypt to hold consultations.

ARTICLE 25 -- NETWORKING OF EXISTING INSTITUTIONS, AGENCIES AND BODIES: Delegates agreed to delete the bracketed phrase in paragraph 2 ("their personnel and facilities"), since this is inherent in the reference to institutions. They agreed on paragraph 4, which now reads: "This networking shall support the implementation of the Convention."

ARTICLE 26 -- COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION: The brackets remain in paragraph 1 (communication of information), pending further G-77 consultations. Delegates agreed on paragraph 2, which now reads "Affected country Parties shall provide a description of the strategies adopted pursuant to Article 5 of this Convention...." After a circular debate, discussion of paragraphs 3 and 5 was deferred until categories of countries are addressed.

ARTICLE 27 -- MEASURES TO RESOLVE QUESTIONS ON [COMPLIANCE][IMPLEMENTATION]: Since this article is closely linked to Article 26, paragraph 1, the G-77 and China requested more time for consultations.

ARTICLE 28 -- SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES: Delegates agreed to remove the brackets in sub-paragraph 2(a) and amend paragraph 6, which state that the COP will set up arbitration procedures as soon as practicable.

ARTICLE 31 -- ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES: Delegates agreed that the UK will coordinate consultations on the adoption and amendment of annexes.

ARTICLE 35 -- RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION: Paragraph 4 (additional regional implementation annexes) will also be discussed in the UK's consultations.

ARTICLE 27 -- ENTRY INTO FORCE: There was still no agreement on the number of ratifications necessary for entry into force. The G-77 and Israel supported 30 ratifications. Egypt pointed out that if a lower number is used, there must be assurance that all continents are represented, otherwise "we could have an orchestra with only flute players." Uzbekistan agreed, since countries needing assistance will probably ratify first and the Convention will be impossible to implement if the other countries do not ratify it. The US supported 40 or 50 ratifications.

ARTICLE 38 -- RESERVATIONS: At the conclusion of the Geneva session, it was agreed to delete reference to exceptions, but keep the remaining text ("No reservations may be made to this Convention.") in brackets. The US wanted this to be deleted. The G-77 disagreed. Nothing was resolved.

[Return to start of article]