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AGENDA ITEM 4 -- STATUS OF SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION

Executive Secretary Arba Diallo reported that 95 countries and one regional economic integration organization have signed the Convention to date. The 95th country, which signed the Convention Monday morning, is South Africa. He appealed to those who have not yet been able to sign the Convention to do so as soon as circumstances permit. Kjell‚n joined in this appeal and expressed hope that the Convention will have 100 signatories by the conclusion of this session.

SOUTH AFRICA: Amb. Vernon Steward was happy to inform the Committee that South Africa signed the Convention on Monday. The Convention is particularly relevant for Southern Africa. More than half of South Africa was declared potential desert by the 1977 UNCOD report. Since the 1930s, South Africa has had various programmes ranging from education and training of farmers at the grassroots level to conservation auditing and the development of electronic data banks. This experience has facilitated the transfer of technology. He stressed the need for increased resources for the implementation of the Convention and its regional annexes, and called for the implementation of the urgent measures for Africa.