Discussions were based on the revised text of the Convention and annexes, A/AC.241/15/Rev.4. Although this was the last scheduled meeting for the Group, numerous issues could not be resolved. The Chair pointed out that Articles 2 (purpose) and 5 (commitments and obligations of developed country Parties [and other Parties]) are still unresolved, pending the decision on categories of countries. He also noted that Article 17 (Transfer, acquisition, adaptation and access to environmentally sound technology) had erroneously been bracketed.
ARTICLE 13 -- CONTENT OF THE REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Australia reported that no agreement was reached on the outstanding issues in the contact group. Benin proposed compromise text for the chapeau: "The regional action programmes include, inter alia, measures related to combatting desertification..."; and the deletion of the words "as relevant" and "as necessary" in sub-paragraphs (e) and (f) respectively. The EU plans to consult on this.
ARTICLES 14 (FINANCIAL RESOURCES), 15 (FINANCIAL MECHANISMS) AND 19 (FOLLOW-UP ARRANGEMENTS): These bracketed articles will be deferred until the Johnson-Sonko group resolves related issues.
ARTICLE 16 -- TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION: The contact group chaired by Cameroon reported that it agreed to delete the word "ensure" in the chapeau, necessitating a change in the wording in the sub-paragraphs. As a result, sub-paragraph (b) is still contentious, due to "legal technicalities." The matter was referred back to the contact group.
ARTICLE 18 -- COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: The contact group, chaired by the US, resolved several issues. Paragraph 3, which has three proposed alternatives, is still unresolved, due to the reference to the role of the secretariat. Since paragraph 4 is dependent on 3, it could not be discussed. Although there is a preference for "shall" to "may" in paragraph 5, the group is still considering whether the matter should be based on the outcome of the legal contact group chaired by Fred Mallya. The EU was considering the legal implications of the proposal. In paragraph 6, the Group agreed to use "developed country Parties" instead of "donor Parties."
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