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COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Chair Tolba outlined the procedure for discussions on cross-sectoral issues and the draft Political Statement. Delegates elected the following Bureau: Idunn Eidheim (Norway), John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), Bagher Asadi (Iran) and Czeslaw Wieckowski (Poland), who will serve as Rapporteur. The G-77/CHINA requested time for discussions prior to negotiations. The Chair asked them to begin negotiations with breaks for group consultations when necessary.

An informal group, chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), considered cross- sectoral issues. On 100 (implementation and compliance), the G-77/CHINA proposed a reformulation noting, inter alia, that implementation of commitments under international treaties and other instruments in the field of environment hinge on secure, sustained and predictable financial support, sufficient institutional capacity, human resources and adequate access to technology. CHINA noted the readiness of developing countries to join the North in remedying environmental damage. With SAUDI ARABIA and COLOMBIA, he noted that implementation and finance must be linked because financial support is essential for successful environmental protection.

The US expressed difficulty with linking implementation to financial support when making a general statement about international treaties because it implies financial support is necessary in all cases. The EU proposed that implementation “can be promoted by” instead of “hinge on” financial support. NORWAY appealed to the G-77/CHINA to view this paragraph as pertaining to strengthening instruments rather than technology transfer. SWITZERLAND questioned whether repeated references to financial obligations lessened their impact. CANADA underscored the importance of science- based decision making.

The EU and NORWAY, supported by SWITZERLAND, the US and CANADA, proposed language noting the importance of improving reporting and data collection systems and developing compliance regimes. The G-77/CHINA stated that its formulation captures the EU/NORWAY proposal. CHINA said that pressing for compliance obligations without making good on financial commitments is “tragic.” The Chair will draft a revised paragraph.

The US reformulated NORWAY’s proposed 101 (develop law regarding liability and compensation) to call for legal instruments regarding liability for environmental damage. The G-77/CHINA proposed deleting the text. On 102 (strengthened data collection), the WOMEN’S CAUCUS reminded delegates of a recent decision by the Comission on the Status of Women regarding gender disaggregated data. The G- 77/CHINA proposed deleting the Canadian-proposed reference to gender disaggregated data. CANADA and NORWAY objected. A US reference to information that makes visible the unremunerated work of women also remains bracketed. A reformulated PERUVIAN reference to support of national and international scientific and technological data centers with appropriate electronic communications links between them was agreed.

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