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PROGRAMME AND BUDGET

Discussion of the programme and budget, as contained in document A/AC.241/46, was brief. After the Secretariat's introduction, several delegates commented on the content of the programme of work, but the Secretariat said in view of ongoing negotiations on related subjects, the details could not be made available. Delegates were requested to comment on the format.

In its introduction of the document, the Secretariat said it had incorporated suggestions from delegates at INCD-7 on the format and concepts. In view of the fact that the first few years would be experimental, the Secretariat restricted suggestions on the programme of work to the first two years. The document takes account of the progress of work achieved in negotiations on related issues, such as financial rules and the PS. Some delegations sought clarification on several issues in the programme of work, including the criteria to be followed to implement the programme before the GM begins functioning, the cost of implementing the CCD, a breakdown on the expenditures on the programme budget and the approval of expenditures from the two trust funds. Delegates requested specific budgets on the administrative costs of the Permanent Secretariat. Some suggested that the current structure and responsibilities of the Interim Secretariat could be used to provide these estimates. Two delegations lamented that responsibility on the subject was getting handed over from one body to another, and another delegation added that there is a greater relationship between this subject and the GM that is not reflected in the document, in particular, relating the estimates to the contributions.

The Secretariat reiterated that it could only provide an outline of the format to be used in preparing the anticipated budgets because other ongoing negotiations must be completed first.

The Group then adopted a draft decision contained in document A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.2 that requests that the Interim Secretariat should submit at the last session of the Committee preceding COP-1 a draft programme of work and budget estimates of the Convention for the first financial period following the first session of the COP. The document should use document A/AC.241/46 as a basis and take into account opinions expressed at INCD-8 on this subject and Committee deliberations on financial rules and the Permanent Secretariat.

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