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THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

There are a number of outstanding issues that must be resolved before the PrepCom adjourns today. The Committee will probably meet in informal session this morning to continue discussions on the Programme of Action for the sustainable development of small island developing States. Part of the text remains bracketed in Chapters 1-14 as well as in the preamble. Substantive work still needs to be done on Chapter 15 on implementation, monitoring and review. It is highly unlikely that the Committee will be able to remove all brackets today, as a number of contentious issues, especially on implementation, still need to be discussed. The structure of the Programme of Action must be addressed as well. There appears to have been little progress on resolving the clear differences here, despite informal consultations that continued in the margins on Thursday. The issue has yet to be brought back to the Committee for formal (or even informal) discussion.

The Chair will have to convene a formal meeting of the Plenary later in the day to adopt the provisional agenda of the Conference, address the matter of pre-Conference consultations, and adopt the report of the PrepCom. While Barbados itself will take the lead in drafting the "Barbados Declaration," there should be some discussion of its basic nature today.

One of the major issues yet to be resolved is how things should proceed from here. Much work has yet to be done on the Programme of Action despite the large areas of agreement already reached. Although some delegates believe that this work can be completed in Barbados during extended pre-Conference consultations and at the Conference itself, other delegates are still pushing for a second session of the PrepCom. If there is to be a second PrepCom session, the delegates will need to formally request it of the General Assembly and the decision to do so will have to be taken today.

The Chair has made provisions for an evening session so it could be another late night.

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