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INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE (ICW)

At the first meeting of the ICW, the Chair, Nicolaas H. Biegman, said that in addition to discussion on the specific items assigned to these informal consultations, the ICW will address a draft decision being introduced by the G-77 on organizational matters. He said that the ICW must also draft guidelines for the Secretariat on the elaboration of the final document. He also announced that the Secretariat has promised to sacrifice the weekend and their sleep to update the conceptual framework for Monday morning.

Biegman then added that unless the ICW can borrow interpreters from other meetings, there may not be interpretation at future sessions. Both Colombia and France took the floor to express concern about the lack of interpretation. The Secretariat apologized and promised to do everything possible to ensure the availability of interpretation at the sessions.

The UK then requested clarification on how the Secretariat proposes to update the conceptual framework. Dr. Singh, from the Secretariat, responded that they intended to incorporate recommendations tabled during the informal debate into an updated or revised document to facilitate discussion. They also intend on compiling the recommendations of the expert group and regional meetings to provide greater synthesis.

The Chair then moved to the draft decision proposed by the G-77, "Preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development." Colombia summarized the draft that proposes to make the ICPD a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly, rather than of ECOSOC. This would elevate the importance of the Conference and reflect recent decisions on UN restructuring. The draft also requests more resources to be provided from the regular UN budget; the continuation of a dialogue between the Secretary-General of the ICPD and all Member States between the 2nd and 3rd sessions of the PrepCom; the expansion of the duration of PrepCom III from two to four weeks; and the strengthening of Secretariat capacity.

The Chair then opened the floor for discussion of this document. Most of the delegations were not prepared to comment as they had only received the document minutes before. The US requested time to review the G-77 draft. The Chair granted a 10-minute recess but then decided to adjourn the meeting as it became clear that the delegates were not ready to discuss the draft resolution at that time.

Following adjournment, a small group of delegates disappeared into the back room to conduct consultations on this matter.

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