The fifth session of the INCD opened on Monday, 6 June 1994 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Committee first dealt with certain procedural matters, including the adoption of the agenda (A/AC.241/22) and the accreditation of seven more NGOs to the negotiating process (A/AC.241/9/Add.7). The Committee also heard opening statements from UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor and Alain Lammassoure, France's Ministre Dlgu for European Affairs, who both welcomed delegates to Paris. President Mascarenhas Montero of Cape Verde, and ministers from Benin, Mongolia and Senegal also addressed the opening Plenary session.
INCD Chair Bo Kjelln emphasized the importance of negotiating an effective Convention and announced the flexible work schedule for the session. The Plenary was scheduled to meet informally to consider the main body of the Convention, while at the same time a negotiating group under the chairmanship of Anne de Lattre (France) was going to examine the regional annexes. Pierre-Marc Johnson and Bolong Sonko would continue consultations on financial issues. Kjelln made it clear, however, that delegates would have to be flexible and prepared for constant changes in the work programme, depending on the Committee's progress.