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IN THE CORRIDORS

With more than the usual time to hang out in the corridors Wednesday due to unscheduled adjournments, delegates and NGOs marked the CSD-5’s half-way point with the now obligatory speculation on the pace of negotiations and likely quality of the outcome. In a telling admission, at least one developing country delegate indicated he has not yet made up his mind on whether to recommend that his Head of State would find it worthwhile to attend the Special Session, given the continued absence of movement on resourcing Rio commitments. This has sparked fears that a downgraded, not-so-"Special" Session could be the price developed countries will pay for their record on funding Rio commitments over the past five years. Others have voiced growing frustration at the developing countries’ “prolific” demands for financial commitments. Meanwhile, with concerns that the sheer volume of text to negotiate (latest estimate: 60 pages) could result in an inconclusive CSD session, members of the Bureau have been quashing “rumors” that extra negotiating time has been penciled in for the week before the Special Session. Observers note that such denials are also becoming a tradition at some UN meetings.