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INFORMAL PLENARY

The Chair opened the informal Plenary by saying that following Wednesday evening's late night consultations, virtually all issues are now resolved. He expected to meet with a small group Thursday afternoon to clarify the text relating to participation of the EU. He said the final text of the Agreement will be available on Friday in all languages and presented for decision in Plenary. Noting that in its current state the Agreement is a comprehensive, democratic reflection of the past three years of negotiations, the Chair expressed the hope that it will be adopted by consensus. The Chair also stated that a draft of the Final Act, a rendition of the factual developments which took place over the course of the Conference, would be circulated. He welcomed comments on the draft and said he would like to ensure that all factual aspects of the Final Act are accurate. He invited delegates to submit their comments to the Secretariat. The Final Act will be available for signature following adoption of the Agreement. If adopted, the Agreement is expected to be open for signature in December 1995. The Chair then reminded delegations to ensure submission of their credentials if they had not already done so. He said the Credentials Committee had held its second meeting on Thursday morning, and its final report will be issued today.

Japan asked for clarification on two related points concerning the matter of State Parties. In Article 20(7), he asked whether "flag States" referred to State Parties or to non-party States. He then asked the same question regarding the reference to "inspecting States" in Article 21(14). The Chair responded that in both cases the context of the text of the Articles made it clear that the use of "States" refers to "State Parties". The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1:10 pm.