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RESUMED SESSION OF THE PREPCOM:

The PrepCom for the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States is scheduled to resume from 7-11 March 1994 at UN Headquarters in New York. The five-day session will focus exclusively on negotiations. There will be no general debate or opportunity for government delegates, UN agencies or NGOs to present formal statements. The negotiations are expected to focus on the unresolved areas of the programme of action (primarily the preamble and Chapter XV, "Implementation, Monitoring and Review") and the Barbados Declaration. Delegates are hopeful that they will be able to forward an "unbracketed" text to Barbados in April.

With regard to the preamble of the programme of action, delegates still must reach agreement on its structure and length. Some delegates called for a more balanced preamble, while the AOSIS saw it as a means to present all the difficulties and constraints to the sustainable development of SIDS. Chapter XV focuses on the means of implementation for most of the activities in the fourteen previous chapters of the programme of action. Some of the issues that need to be resolved are: national reporting by SIDS on the progress in implementing the outcomes of the Barbados Conference; the need for more detailed paragraphs within the national implementation section in order to better balance the three sections (national, regional and international) within this chapter; coordination of the roles of regional agencies; the bulk of the finance text; and the suggestion that the international donor community should only supplement national efforts for sustainable development. Other issues to be resolved include suggestions on the need to diversify exports and reduce SIDS dependence on single commodities, references to the need to protect intellectual property rights, and the nature of a focal point within the UN Department of Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD) to oversee and coordinate UN system implementation of the outcomes of the Conference. [Return to start of article]