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FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS, FLOWS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Razali thanked Vice-Chair Arthur Campeau for the work he did on the draft decision on finance and told governments that he would ensure that the commitments made in Rio remain valid and not diluted. He began discussion on paragraph 6 of the G-77's draft and said there was a proposal that might allow resolution on intersessional meetings if the term "intergovernmental" is deleted. Colombia responded that the G-77 has some difficulties removing the word "intergovernmental". He added that no one is suggesting that this ad hoc committee is a decision-making body yet countries must have a way to speak on the elements to be discussed. Nominations should be made by CSD members and the Bureau can invite other experts to make contributions. Egypt proposed inserting a phrase to ensure that the working group reports back to the Commission. Pakistan suggested: "The Commission decides to establish an intersessional ad-hoc open-ended working group composed of experts nominated by governments of the Commission to undertake the following tasks:". Denmark, Australia, Norway, the US and the Russian Federation were able to support both of these proposals. The Philippines modified the end of Pakistan's proposal "decides to assist the Commission in the following tasks." Norway suggested inserting "on a trial basis" after "establish." Brazil supported the original formulation, including the word "intergovern- mental." The Chair decided to move on and return to this paragraph later.

Paragraph 7 addresses government reporting on financial aspects of implementing Agenda 21. Iceland amended the paragraph to read: "As far as possible this information should include an assessment of the assistance rendered in relation to programme areas of Agenda 21." Australia thought this amendment was too restrictive. Paragraph 8 requests reports from the international financial institutions. The US proposed including all relevant UN specialized agencies and relevant organizations in the UN system. Paragraph 9 addresses GEF restructuring and replenishment. Denmark, supported by the US, wanted to delete specific mention of "environmental problems at the local and national levels" as this was not agreed to in Rio. Paragraph 10 addresses the need for adequate financial support to UN programmes for Agenda 21 implementation.

Colombia then announced new text for paragraph 6: "The Commission decides to establish an intersessional ad-hoc open-ended working group, composed of governments who will nominate experts, in order to assist the Commission to undertake the following tasks:". A new sentence at the end would read: "The Commission will decide on the agenda and the procedures of work of the working group which will report on its findings to the Commission." Austria did not agree with this formulation as the language was not clear. Razali responded that the UN is no place for clarity of language. Morocco and Japan asked for the budgetary implications. Australia asked if the group will consider contributions from NGOs and other organizations and Colombia assured that this was the case. On sub-paragraph (i), Japan and the US proposed including action by governments, in addition to bilateral and multilateral funding organizations. A number of delegates disagreed. On sub-paragraph (ii), Australia proposed the inclusion of domestic policies and priorities in the list of aspects that determine the flow of financial resources. Many developing countries agreed, provided that the policies of developed countries are also examined. Sweden was concerned that this proposal would overburden the working group. Austria warned against duplication of work by UNCTAD and other agencies. On sub-paragraph (iii), Saudi Arabia proposed deleting "of all aspects" of Agenda 21. Other members of the G-77 disagreed. The US proposed a (iii)bis on encouraging governments to develop sustainable development strategies. Razali announced that he would prepare a new draft and discussion would resume in the morning.

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