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GERMANY (ON BEHALF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION):

Gerhard W. Henze said that combating desertification is a central element in the EU"s development cooperation programmes. The funds allocated for this purpose through the Lom‚ Convention in 1992 alone amounted to US$1.9 billion. The process of elaborating national action programmes in developing countries is of the utmost priority. A closely coordinated effort between donor countries and affected developing countries is imperative. The quick follow-up to the signing of the Convention, in particular the resolution on the urgent action for Africa, must be ensured.