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GENERAL ASSMEBLY RESOLUTION

Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, introduced the draft resolution on the Convention to Combat Desertification in the Second Committee on 15 November 1994. During the informal consultations on this draft resolution, it appeared that the major problem was the number of meetings that that INCD would need during the interim period. Whereas the original draft resolution (A/C.2/49/L.13) called for two two-week sessions each in 1995 and 1996 and one in 1997, a number of developed countries did not feel that such a large number of meetings was necessary. The final consensus was that, in addition to the sixth meeting of the INCD in January 1995 (which was already approved by the 48th session of the General Assembly last year), there will be a two-week session in Nairobi from 7-18 August 1995, and, "pending the entry into force of the Convention, to hold further necessary sessions in 1996 and 1997, the venue and timing of which shall be recommended by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee."

The final resolution (A/C.2/49/L.30), which emerged from informal consultations, was adopted by the Second Committee on 7 December 1994. It is expected to be formally adopted by the General Assembly Plenary before Christmas. The resolution decides that the INCD will continue to function in order to:

The resolution also urges countries to sign and ratify the Convention, and calls on all countries, the UN system, appropriate scientific and business communities, trade unions, NGOs and other interested groups to take action for the prompt implementation of the Convention and its relevant regional annexes upon its entry into force. During the interim period before entry into force, the resolution urges all relevant actors to take actions and measures to implement the resolution on urgent action for Africa. The Secretariat will continue to function and be funded through existing UN budgetary resources and voluntary contributions.

After the resolution was adopted, the Philippines took the floor to say that while it joined the consensus, it feels that tropical humid areas have not been sufficiently considered in the Convention. The resolution should have mentioned combating drought, but these elements were removed. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77, thanked everyone for joining the consensus and said that hope is now reborn with the signing of this Convention. Now we need to see rapid entry into force. Benin supported the G-77 statement and appealed to all countries to take urgent steps for Africa by supporting national and sub-regional action programmes.

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