The Working Group resumed discussion of the remaining sections of the draft rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties (A/AC.241/38). The Secretariat circulated an informal paper (A/AC.241/WG.II.(VII)/CRP.1) which formed the basis of work of the informal group on Science and Technology.
DRAFT RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES
Rule 46 describes voting rights. Spain said the voting alternatives provided for member States and regional economic integration organizations in paragraph 2 are incorrect. Tunisia suggested bracketing the reference to "economic" in Regional Economic Integration Organizations since there are various types of regional organizations.
Rule 47 deals with the majority required to make various decisions. Spain said the rule does not provide a procedure where two alternatives have been proposed. The US, supported by the UK, Japan and Canada, proposed text in paragraph 1(b) that provides for financial decisions to be made by consensus. Uganda, supported by Benin, said the proposal should be bracketed. The Chair pointed out that the financial rules being dealt with here are not the same as those under the discussion in Working Group I. The Secretariat clarified that the rule suggests that on all matters of substance for which consensus is not obtained, the decision shall be made by a two-thirds majority vote, except in three instances: when the Convention provides an alternative; in cases where the financial rules provide guidance; and under the proposed set of rules of procedure.
Paragraph 3 gives authority to the President to rule on whether a matter is procedural or substantive. Egypt suggested replacing "President" with "Bureau" as had been done in the preceding Rules.
Rule 48 defines the "Parties present and voting." Uganda, supported by the UK, said the rule should be placed under Rule 2 on definitions.
Rule 53 addresses the method of voting. Uganda said the rule should be cross-referenced to rule 47, paragraph 2. Benin said the roll call vote should not be taken in the "English" language alphabetical order, but in keeping with the main UN language spoken at the venue of a meeting. He also proposed additional paragraphs to list all the alternative voting methods and stipulate that voting should only be done in plenary.
South Africa said the drafting of paragraph 2 does not vest power in the President of the COP to rule on the roll-call vote, since a provision is made for secret ballot. A supplementary procedure should be provided.
Rule 56 provides for the procedure of elections in the absence of a majority. Benin, supported by Egypt, amended paragraph 1 so that if votes are equally divided in the second and third ballots, the President shall "proceed to draw lots to decide between the two candidates."
Under Section XII, Languages and sound records, Japan suggested a reduction of official languages to three to reduce costs and wanted to bracket Rule 58. This was contested by several delegations including Spain, China, Benin, Cuba, Kazakhstan, France and Mexico. Under Section XIII, Amendments to rules of procedure and status, Benin proposed a deletion in Rule 62 of the words "by consensus" since other parts of the Convention do not say that amendments have to be adopted by consensus. This was contested by the UK. Uganda supported Benin and suggested to put "by consensus" in brackets. The Chair commented that if consensus is deleted then rule 47 will apply instead and said that it makes sense to adopt rules of procedure by consensus.
The Group then went on to adopt the draft decision on the Rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties. It states that the INCD should use the draft rules of procedure of the COP prepared by the Interim Secretariat (document A/AC.241/38) as the basis for future negotiations, and it requests the Secretariat to prepare a revised text for the eighth session.
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