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DRAFT RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES

The Secretariat said document A/AC.241/38 was largely drawn from other Conventions and the CCD. There was general agreement that the document would form a good basis of work.

In Rule 2 on definitions, a sub-paragraph is needed referring to the date of entry into force of the CCD. With respect to Rule 3, place of sessions, Benin said the decision on where the COP holds its meetings should be decided by the UNGA. Regarding Rule 4, dates of sessions, Benin suggested that an extraordinary session be held not more than 45 days after the submission of a written request, instead of the proposed 90 days.

Regarding Rule 6, participation of UN and specialized agencies, Spain preferred that their participation as observers be determined by consensus, not a minimum one-third vote.

Rule 9 on the preparation of the provisional agenda, Benin suggested replacing "President" with "Bureau" to provide for broader agreement. Rule 10 (d) concerns the agenda item on accounts and financial arrangements. Brazil proposed that the proposed budget should include that of the subsidiary bodies of the COP. Uganda said it should cover the proposed "programme and budget." Benin and Uganda provided two alternatives to Rule 15, reporting on administrative and budgetary implications, aimed at clarifying that substantive issues to be raised should have been submitted to the COP at least 48 hours before consideration.

With respect to Rule 22, election of officers, Benin suggested the addition to the Bureau of a seat for the small island developing states. Iran wanted each geographical region to have two representatives as well as the Chair of the CST, in the Bureau.

The UK proposed that Rule 27 read: "Save as provided in Rule 28-31, the present rules shall apply" to all bodies.

Rule 30, on dates of meetings, drew protracted debate due to the lack of clarity on what is meant by "in conjunction with." China suggested that in Rule 31 on election of officers, reference should be made to "chairperson" instead of "chairman." She suggested that similar language be adopted, as appropriate, in the entire document. Protracted debate followed Canada's proposal with respect to Rule 35, to have two rules: one for the COP and one for the subsidiary bodies, empowering each of the bodies to hold public meetings unless the body decides otherwise. Some argued these should be closed meetings unless the COP, or even the subsidiary body itself, decides otherwise.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: The Group will discuss financial rules (A/AC.241/35), followed by consideration of the Programme and Budget (A/AC.241/36). Look for the draft decision on location of the Secretariat.

WORKING GROUP II: The Group will begin consideration of document A/AC.241/39, Procedures for Communication of information and review of implementation. They will then take up the remaining Sections of the draft Rules of Procedure of the Conference of the Parties.

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