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WORKING GROUP II

ORGANIZATION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COOPERATION: The Secretariat noted that Section I (Terms of reference of the CST) is a negotiating text but Part II, on the roster of independent experts and ad hoc panels and is not. The Chair said a completed roster and terms of reference are needed for COP-1.

Paragraph 1(CST a subsidiary body): Although the League of Arab States objected to the generality of the paragraph it was adopted.

Paragraph 2(Functions of the CST): Sub-paragraphs: (a) on functions: (b) on data and information functions; and (c) dealing with research and review functions, attracted protracted debate. Half way through the discussion India suggested deleting the sub-headings. Other delegates wanted to keep a minimum of text and refer to relevant articles of the CCD. The Chair proposed that the Secretariat should prepare another text but after some debate, it was decided to retain the sub-headings and that the existing Secretariat document was acceptable. With some amendments all paragraphs were adopted except 2(a)(ii).

In the chapeau of paragraph 2, the US suggested inserting "and as requested by the COP" in order to avoid repetition in some of the sub-paragraphs. After a lengthy debate over whether the sub-paragraphs restrict CST action, the Chair's proposal to replace "are as follows" with "includes the following," was adopted.

Paragraph 2(a): Australia recommended that sub-paragraph (i), which suggests that COP requests for information needed to implement the CCD, should specify that bodies such as IGOs and NGOs can provide information to the CST. It was agreed to delete most of the paragraph which now reads, "Provide scientific and technological information needed to implement the Convention."

Sub-paragraph (ii) deals with monitoring developments in science and technology. There was discussion about whether "monitoring" implied "assessment" and if the latter could be kept out of the text, but "assessment" was retained. South Africa, supported by Uganda and the UK, suggested adding "and give advice on the possible utilization of the required information" at the end of the sentence. It was finally agreed to bracket the phrase "Monitor and assess the impact of developments in science and technology, and give advice on possible utilization of such developments for the implementation of the Convention."

Sub-paragraph (iii) providing for advice to COP on the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge was adopted, as was sub-paragraph (iv) on advice on research priorities, with minor amendments.

Sub-paragraph (v) deals with the establishment of ad hoc panels. It was emphasized that the COP establishes ad hoc panels, however, in practice, the CST will see needs and seek the COP's support for panels. The phrase "Make recommendations to the establishment of ad hoc panels including general guidelines and recommendations on the terms of reference, composition and duration of the panels" was adopted.

Sub-paragraph (vi) addresses the issue of advice on the roster of independent experts. South Africa, supported by Sudan, Uganda, Canada and Morocco, suggested amending language about local knowledge to read: "Advise on the structure, membership and maintenance of the roster of independent experts, bearing in mind the recognition the Convention gives to the local knowledge and expertise." It was adopted.

Paragraph 2b: Sub-paragraph (i), recommendations on collection of data, and sub-paragraph (ii), recommended indicators, were adopted with minor amendments.

Paragraph 2(c): Extensive discussion followed Belgium's proposal to replace all the sub-paragraphs with one sentence referring to Article 17 in the CCD. It was agreed to retain sub-paragraph (i) that provides for making recommendations regarding specialized research, sub-paragraph (ii) on new scientific approaches and sub-paragraph (iii) on promoting comparative research, with minor amendments.

South Africa, supported by Chile, Korea, Zimbabwe, India, the UK and others, suggested an additional sub-paragraph (iv), which after amendment states: "make recommendations for promoting participative research relevant traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices," using information and services from various groups.

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