The meeting of the Intersessional Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Finance opened in Conference Room 2 on Monday 28 February 1994. Amb. Razali welcomed the experts and said that if financing and development targets were not met, countries may not feel bound by their Agenda 21 commitments. Amb. Razali noted that while no consensus was expected from the experts he hoped they could narrow and prioritize solutions, allowing for consensus to be achieved by the CSD in May. Dr. Lin See-Yan of Malaysia was elected Chair of the Working Group.
The Chair then introduced Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development Nitin Desai who stressed that financial resource issues should be discussed differently than during UNCED as there is now an agreed-to international programme, Agenda 21. It would be a mistake to focus on increases in ODA in a generalized fashion. The problem of financing is intimately linked with the underlying economics of sustainability. The Group's thinking must extend to joint responsibility and implementation of the programme of action. Focusing on modalities on the macro level alone may miss elements of what needs to be done in certain sectors. The purpose of the working group is to open up new avenues of dialogue and discussion for consideration by the CSD.
The Chair moved to the adoption of the agenda, as contained in document E/CN.17/ISWG.II/1994/1 and to the discussion the substantive agenda items.