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MORNING INFORMAL SESSION

The Chair opened the session and informed the delegates that the Secretariat had worked overnight to produce a "clean" version of Chapter XV that would be distributed during the course of the day. She indicated that the session would begin with a second reading of the preamble, to be followed by a re-examination of Chapters I-XIV.

PREAMBLE

Chapeau: The chapeau was reorganized. It was agreed that the proposal on the commitment of the international community would be examined within the context of paragraph 10. The proposed amendments that remained in the chapeau are still in brackets, as some delegates asked for a chance to discuss them as a group before taking any decision.

Paragraph 1: An amendment to this paragraph on the characteristics of SIDS was accepted and incorporated in the text. A permanent observer attempted to add provisions on the importance of the human individual, which remained in brackets. An observer also submitted a proposal to emphasize the marine dimension of SIDS, but it was agreed that this proposal should be included elsewhere.

Paragraph 2: A technical amendment was submitted that more precisely defines the threat to freshwater resources of SIDS. This amendment remains in brackets.

Paragraph 3: This paragraph addresses the relationship between environment and development in SIDS. It was requested that reference to environmental destruction caused by external interventions be bracketed.

Paragraph 4: This paragraph was accepted.

Paragraph 5: Several amendments were proposed to this paragraph on population growth. A permanent observer proposed an amendment to add language stating that despite population density, the small population size of SIDS inhibits them from generating economies of scale. This amendment did not receive much support. He proposed another formulation, which remains in brackets. Another amendment was proposed to the first sentence so that it would read "...the rate of population growth is high relative to both ecological sustainability and economic growth..." This is bracketed pending further consultations. Another amendment was made with regard to the reference to women as heads of households. The agreed phrase now reads "women in particular as heads of households."

Paragraph 6: An amendment was introduced and accepted to indicate that the total production of SIDS is limited both in manufacturing goods and in providing services. Another modification that restricted these difficulties to "some" SIDS remains in brackets. The paragraph needs to be further amended to indicate that the problem is with the lack of economies of scale rather than the search for such economies.

Paragraph 7: Several delegates were uncomfortable with the current draft. An amendment was suggested that would restrict the application of these provisions to "some" SIDS and qualified insurance and re-insurance problems as posing "difficulties". The whole paragraph is still in brackets.

Paragraph 8: A series of amendments were suggested to water down the language of this paragraph, but they remained in brackets while the authors consult. Man-made disasters were added to reflect the vulnerability of SIDS to marine pollution.

Paragraph 9: A reference to a specific provision of Agenda 21 that had been deleted in the draft was reintegrated in this paragraph on human resources. It was felt by some that part of the provision contained in the amendment had not been integrated in the new draft. The amendment has been submitted to the delegates and is being negotiated. An additional reference to youth was also suggested, but no agreement was reached.

Paragraph 10: This paragraph was accepted with two amendments. The first was to delete the last sentence mentioning that this is the first global conference on the implementation of Agenda 21. The second aimed to ensure that social, religious and cultural values are protected.

Paragraph 11: This paragraph mentions that priority must be given to the economically vulnerable. Developed countries wanted to incorporate Principle 6 of the Rio Declaration into this paragraph. Others wanted to highlight the problems of SIDS, not of the least developed countries. No agreement was reached.

Paragraph 12: There was debate about mentioning the regional technical meetings held in preparation for this Conference. Delegates agreed to further discuss this issue.

Paragraph 13: Three major amendments were proposed to this paragraph, including adding the following sentence at the beginning: "As recognized in Agenda 21, governments will be primarily responsible for the implementation of the action programme." The other amendments addressed financing and better use of existing resources. These amendments are bracketed until the question of financing as a whole is resolved.

Paragraphs 14 and 15: These paragraphs have been deleted as they have been dealt with in Chapter XV.

A new paragraph was proposed noting that the international community should pay special attention to the needs of the least developed SIDS. It remains in brackets.

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