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CLOSING SESSION

The PrepCom came to a close on Friday afternoon, 10 September 1993. Although the Chair had hoped to have one more informal negotiating session during the day on Friday, not all delegates were prepared to return to the table to further negotiate the controversial issues in Chapter 15 and the preamble. To further complicate matters, there was no possibility of getting interpretation and other conference services for a Friday evening session, so that the Chair was forced to conclude the PrepCom at 6:00 pm.

In its final session, the PrepCom adopted the following decisions:

After much discussion, two other decisions were taken regarding the future work of the PrepCom. The first of these involved the status of documentation. The Chair stated that the PrepCom had before it document A/CONF.167/PC/L.5 and Add.1, the G-77 and China's "Basic elements for an action programme on the sustainable development of small island developing States. L.5 contains the basic elements for Chapters 1-14 and Add.1 contains Chapter 15. However, the PrepCom spent considerable time developing these documents and now has before it an additional informal paper containing the preamble and basis for action, a first revision of the basic elements paper and two integrated working texts prepared by the Secretariat. Wensley requested the delegates to consider exactly what package of documents they would like to carry forward. As the discussion progressed, it appeared that all delegates were in agreement and a decision was taken to request the Secretariat and the Rapporteur to produce a full, consolidated text called A/CONF.167/PC/L.5/Rev.1. This text will include the preamble, to be followed by Chapters 1-15, including a basis for action and programme areas for each chapter. It was also decided to include all comments made during the discussions on the preamble and Chapter 15 as attachments or an accompanying document. The text will include a note explaining that some portions of the text have been agreed to, others remain bracketed for further negotiation, and other parts of the document (the preamble and Chapter 15) have not yet been negotiated.

The final decision taken by the PrepCom followed a lengthy discussion on how best to proceed between now and the Conference. There was a wide divergence of views as some delegates believed that the work should be taken forward to Barbados and completed at the Conference itself by the Main Committee. Other delegates saw value in conducting intersessional work between now and April. Numerous delegates expressed their views on the matter. Some of the concerns raised included the budgetary implications of intersessional work, the availability of dates on the UN calendar for a possible second PrepCom, the efficient use of time, the need to ensure adequate representation of SIDS, and the success of the Conference. The Chair proposed, and the Committee agreed, to request the General Assembly to explore options for continuing the work of the preparatory process.

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