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INFORMAL WORKING GROUP ON THE AFRICAN REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION ANNEX

After completing the first reading of the Annex, the Group re-considered Articles 13, 14, 15 and 18.

ARTICLE 7 -- TIMETABLE FOR PREPARATION OF ACTION PROGRAMMES: Japan, which had expressed reservations on the article, agreed to retain it. The Article now provides for the African country Parties, and other members of the international community, "to prepare" national, sub-regional and regional action programmes during the interim period.

ARTICLE 20 -- COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: The EU made the following contested amendments: the chapeau of paragraph 3 should provide for African country Parties to organize consultative "groups," not "processes," at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, and that the Secretariat's involvement was not necessary. The US preferred the consultative processes to be organized "under the leadership of the national coordinating body." Senegal argued that the proposal on "consultative groups" deviated from the "consultative mechanisms" in the paragraph, while Niger pointed out that regional groups, cannot convene consultative processes either at the regional or national levels. The Gambia and Benin insisted on the involvement of the Secretariat.

In paragraph 6, Greece suggested that instead of the "developed country Parties" establishing their own consultative processes, it should be the "donor countries." The Gambia pointed out that the proposed category of "donor countries" is inconsistent with the rest of the Convention, as it does not exist.

ARTICLE 21 -- FOLLOW-UP ARRANGEMENTS: The EU introduced amendments to the previously un-bracketed article. He suggested the deletion of sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), which stipulate the composition of the follow-up mechanisms, reducing the article to one paragraph that calls for follow-up mechanisms to be carried out in accordance with the relevant articles and consultative processes in Article 20.

ARTICLE 13 -- ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMME: The new version of this article states that the procedures for drawing up the regional action programme shall be determined jointly by the African country Parties, and that the COP may provide support to the relevant regional organizations to fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to them under the Convention.

ARTICLE 14 -- CONTENT OF REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Australia reported that there are only two outstanding issues in this article: whether the regional action programmes "shall" or "may" include measures related to combatting desertification; and whether the reinforcement of early warning systems and drought contingency plans shall be carried out "as necessary." Due to the deadlock in the contact group, the Chair was asked to participate. Article 15 (strengthening activities of the UN system) was deleted.

ARTICLE 18 -- TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION: New text was circulated, but delegates could not agree on the nature of technical assistance and cooperation to be rationalized and strengthened. The contact group working on this article was asked to reconvene, with Cameroon as Chair.

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