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INFORMAL NEGOTIATING GROUP II

The discussion on the draft decision on technology transfer began at 11:00 am as the Chair, Arthur Campeau, was waiting for copies of a revised draft to be distributed. This revised draft was based on the discussions held Monday afternoon. However, just after Campeau introduced his new text, the G-77 and China distributed their own draft decision for this item. Thus, one of the problems that plagued the morning session was how to deal with the competing drafts. Campeau suggested working off of Rev.1 of the Chair's text. Yet as soon as discussion began on paragraph 1, which mentions the critical importance of the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, cooperation and capacity building, Colombia, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that its paragraph 1 better reflects the Rio mandate. The US was concerned with the phrase "operationalizing agreements and commitments made at Rio." Colombia explained that the idea is to put the agreements and commitments into practice. Campeau suggested that the US and Colombia discuss this further.

China requested a break to examine the two texts. Campeau agreed and the meeting adjourned for 20 minutes. Upon reconvening, the group discussed paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Rev. 1, in conjunction with the corresponding paragraphs of the G-77 draft. There was no agreement on the reference to countries with economies in transition in paragraph 2 and there was no agreement on whether to use the Chair's or the G-77's draft of paragraphs 3 and 4. Campeau proposed that interested delegations meet during the lunch break to further discuss these two paragraphs.

When this small group of delegates met, however, they decided to redraft the Chair's text to encompass many of the ideas expressed in the G-77 text, as well as other proposals that had not been adequately addressed in either text. At 4:00 pm the small group finished and, while copies were being made of the revised text, consultations took place among regional groups. When Negotiating Group II resumed at 5:00 pm, it was presented with a new draft text, Rev.2.

The group was able to agree on the following paragraphs: 1 (the critical importance of the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, cooperation and capacity building); 4 (requesting the Secretary-General to prepare proposals on ways and means to implement elements of Chapter 34 of Agenda 21); 5 (the establishment of environmental technology centres); 6 (provision of information on the implementation of science and technology provisions of Agenda 21); 8 (collaborative arrangements with intergovernmental bodies); and 9 (the implementation of environmental conventions with respect to technology transfer). Consensus was not achieved on four paragraphs.

In paragraph 2, the reference to economies in transition remained bracketed. The Chair tried to resolve this issue by suggesting a footnote or placing the reference to these countries in the first preambular paragraph, but consensus remained elusive between the Russian Federation and the G-77. The US mentioned that there should be a comma after the bracketed text. India wanted clarification of the comma's placement, reminding delegates that a comma was bracketed in Rio, and then requested that this comma be bracketed as well.

Paragraph 3, which urges bilateral and multilateral financial institutions and national governments to undertake certain tasks to promote and facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, generated many comments. Denmark wanted to delete "removal of barriers" as a focus of the Commission. Colombia and the US said that the consensus reached in the informal group was to retain this text. Cuba disagreed with the text in 3(b) bis, arguing that stimulating a favorable climate for public and private sector investment was not part of Agenda 21. India proposed a new formulation, which was not acceptable to Cuba. Campeau asked Denmark, India, US and Cuba to try to work this out. In 3(h), the US opposed mention of biotechnology and proposed replacing it with "new and emerging technologies." Benin disagreed and Colombia mentioned that he thought there had been consensus on this. The US said she would discuss this with Benin.

Paragraph 7, on the establishment of an intersessional working group, still posed problems for Austria who said that it is a fallacy to think that by creating a new body, the CSD will solve anything. She commented on the proliferation of meetings and the financial implications and proposed that the CSD should further study the establishment of such a group, based on the experiences in the intersessional group on finance.

Paragraph 10, which addresses the importance of dialogue with intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and the private sector, also mentioned biotechnology and the US could not accept this.

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