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A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF INCD-6

This session marked the beginning of a new phase in the INCD negotiating process. The first five sessions of the INCD, which met between May 1993 and June 1994, focused on the negotiation of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD). Now that the Convention has been adopted, it is time to turn to implementation. This new phase of the negotiating process is often referred to as "post-agreement negotiations." The purpose of post-agreement negotiations is to continue the dialogue to push forward the development of the Convention and its implementation. These additional negotiations are often aimed at settling disputes, handling misunderstandings, dealing with future adjustments to the Convention and the management of the day-to-day governance of the Convention among the signatories. The objective of these negotiations is to ensure that the negotiated outcome is well implemented.

While INCD-6 was more of an organizational session than anything else, it served two very important purposes. First, the Committee reached agreement on the mandates of the two working groups and the Plenary, which will carry out the post-agreement negotiations. Second, it has alerted delegates, the Bureau and the Interim Secretariat to some of the challenges that lie ahead. These challenges include: reaffirming the equal status of the CCD with other environmental conventions; implementation of the resolution on urgent action for Africa; awareness raising; popular participation; preparation for the first Conference of the Parties; scientific and technical cooperation during the interim period; and funding. While there is no denial that these challenges exist, INCD-6 also indicated some of the forces that may facilitate or hinder the process " the Interim Secretariat, NGOs and governments.