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INFORMAL NEGOTIATING GROUP I

The first meeting of this group, chaired by Ghazi Jomaa of Tunisia, considered the revised text of E/CN.17/1993/L.2, "Issues relating to the future work of the Commission." On paragraph 3, India favored changing "pre-sessional documents" to "the Secretary-General's reports." Mexico stated that the CSD should identify issues on which intersessional consultations could be held with all members of the Commission and other interested delegations. Saudi Arabia differed on the use of the term "members of the Commission" as it would be preferable to include all member States of the UN. Australia observed that it was important to establish a framework for intersessional consultations. Austria felt that the Mexican approach would complicate matters. India, supported by the Netherlands, thought the scope of the Mexican proposal opens all issues to observers. Austria said that organizational matters, like the venue of the next meeting, might have to be discussed between sessions. Mexico urged flexibility, but not so much that the work of the CSD would be restricted to a small group.

On paragraph 4, the Netherlands suggested that the high-level meeting "should", rather than "could", provide for an open exchange of views. Brazil asked that outstanding issues relate to the work of the CSD itself.

Mexico said that paragraph 5 was unnecessary. Norway, supported by Austria, thought that an addition of the words "new and" before "emerging policy issues" was in order. Austria cautioned against overloading the ministerial segment. Cuba felt that if this paragraph was kept, the CSD should begin addressing issues stemming from the global approach of Agenda 21. Singapore suggested the term "major and emerging issues" be used. Iceland said that the focus of the high-level meeting should be more thematic. Ghazi said this could create a problem because the high-level meeting should be an integral part of the meeting. Denmark, on behalf of the EC, suggested adding a reference to issuing results of the high-level segment in a "concise agreed document." China, supported by Germany proposed text reading, "The outcome of the high-level meeting may be a concise agreed document." Pakistan and Denmark supported the Chinese text, while Australia, Mexico and Austria opposed it. Venezuela did not want the proposed document to lead to prolonged negotiations. The US offered another compromise, "Results should be expressed as participants deem appropriate."

On paragraph 6, Burkina Faso supported a broader range of ministerial participation. India, supported by Mexico, Venezuela, and the Philippines, suggested "appropriate" ministerial participation. Japan proposed deleting the paragraph. Paragraphs 7 and 8 were acceptable.

In paragraph 9, Egypt opted for cutting reports which were asked for, especially the mandate for the Secretary-General to report annually on Resolutions 42/186 and 187, superseded by the mandate of the CSD. Austria and Iceland asked for clarification on the types of reports needed. While the Netherlands favored reports from the agencies. Egypt said that he was not fond of reports unless they were analytical. In paragraph 10, Algeria drew attention to procedures whereby ECOSOC might first have to be asked to invite regional groups to submit reports to be considered by the CSD. Australia counseled that it was desirable to prepare reports on the basis of comparability.

Paragraph 11 was acceptable. In paragraph 12, the Philippines said that the CSD would decide on the arrangements for NGO contributions. The Netherlands favored meetings with NGOs. Australia proposed, "The Chairman, with the assistance of the Bureau and the Secretariat, as the need may arise, should be encouraged to conduct informal intersessional consultations, inter alia along thematic lines, with representatives of NGOs and others with relevant experience." Mexico asked how the results of these consultations would be used.

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