The Group considered Articles 4, 8 and 5 before adopting the Asian Annex Wednesday morning.
ARTICLE 4 -- NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: The Philippines insisted on the retention of the bracketed phrase "and those experiencing serious drought and/or desertification" in the chapeau. He stated that some Asian countries will feel marginalized if this phase is not retained. However, following a discussion on Article 8, it was agreed to delete the bracketed text.
ARTICLE 8 -- COOPERATION AND COORDINATION MECHANISMS: The US proposed that "and other country Parties in the region" should be included after "Affected country Parties" in the chapeau, to meet the concerns of some of the Asian countries. Malaysia added "as appropriate" to the US proposal. The Philippines agreed to this as long as "in the spirit of Articles 16 to 19 in the Convention" was included in the chapeau. After a discussion about the scope of the Article, it was agreed to leave it out. In sub-paragraph 1(d) it was decided, as proposed by the US, that "requirements" should be deleted and the brackets around "request" be removed to ensure consistency with the Latin American Annex. The text now reads: "identification and determination of external cooperation requests." Article 3 remained in brackets pending resolution of Article 23 in the main Convention.
ARTICLE 5 -- SUBREGIONAL AND JOINT ACTION PROGRAMMES: At the insistence of the Philippines, and after lengthy debate, delegates amended paragraph 1 to read: "In accordance with Article 11 of the Convention, affected country Parties in Asia may mutually agree to consult and cooperate with other country Parties, as appropriate, to prepare and implement a sub-regional or joint action programmes...." In addition, paragraph 3 was amended to accommodate Syria's concerns. It now reads, "Sub-regional and joint action programmes may include agreed joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources related to desertification, priorities for coordination...."
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