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MATTERS RELATED TO THE INTERSESSIONAL WORK OF THE COMMISSION

The issue of how to facilitate the CSD's consideration of the sectoral themes for 1995 -- forests, biodiversity, desertification and land management -- quickly became a divisive issue along North-South lines. The G-77 supported the establishment of an intersessional ad hoc open-ended working group to consider these issues. Many developed countries, however, supported the continuation of government-sponsored expert meetings because they provide better opportunities for concrete discussion of issues on the CSD's agenda. Brazil and others claimed that this "growing proliferation of fora" harms the legitimate participation of developing countries.

Informal-informal sessions on this matter, chaired by Amb. Tunguru Huaraka (Namibia), began on Monday, 23 May, to determine the structure of the CSD's intersessional work for the coming year. During the initial discussions on finance and technology transfer, the developing countries proposed that the mandates of the ad hoc open-ended working groups on finance and technology be renewed. The areas of agreement seemed to include: support for government and IGO sponsored initiatives; the ad hoc working group on finance should adjust its focus, but continue its work; and a second working group should be established to prepare for the CSD's consideration of the clusters of sectoral issues in 1995. Areas needing clarification included: the mandate of the second group; measures to insure universal participation and transparency; and ways to coordinate information on the plethora of processes.

The group met again on Tuesday, 24 May, to discuss new EU and G-77 proposals on intersessional activities. During a subsequent evening meeting, the Chair presented his text, which the group agreed to adopt "unopened," with minor amendments. The draft recommended the continuation of the finance working group and the establishment of a new working group to: examine next year's sectoral issues; take stock of intersessional activities; group together initiatives underway on a particular sectoral theme; and convey the results of the relevant work to the CSD. The ad hoc working group on technology transfer will be discontinued, but the issue of technology transfer will be taken up by the working groups on finance and sectoral issues, which will meet for one week each.

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