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OPERATIONS OF THE VOLUNTARY FUND

Miles Stoby briefed the PrepCom on the status of the voluntary fund. The Secretary-General is seeking US$950,000 to provide for the participation of representatives from SIDS in the Conference process. As of today, the Secretariat has received only US$154,783. This figure includes contributions from Canada, Chile, Sweden and New Zealand. Pledges have also been received from Italy and Liechtenstein. On Thursday, the UK pledged œ30,000 for support of the participation of Caribbean delegates and NGOs and mentioned that it is considering support for Pacific delegates as well. The Dutch are also considering contributions to the fund. Stoby made a strong appeal for contributions. He also explained that the Secretary-General may seek additional voluntary support for NGO participation, the public information programme, representation of journalists from SIDS at the Conference, and the development of a SIDS information system.

Japan indicated that it is seriously considering its contribution, but cannot pledge a specific amount at this time. Vanuatu, on behalf of AOSIS, thanked those governments who have pledged and contributed to the fund.