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MAIN COMMITTEE

The Main Committee met briefly Tuesday morning to discuss a number of procedural matters, including the election of officers and the programme of work. The Chair, Amb. Penelope Wensley (Australia), said it is the job of the Main Committee to finish what the PrepCom began. While there is agreement on six of the 15 chapters, there are still a number of square brackets in the preamble and eight chapters, including Chapter XV, which contains the vital issues of finance, technology transfer and institutional follow-up to the Conference.

The Committee then elected the following Vice-Chairs: Takao Shibata (Japan); Ioan Barac (Romania); and John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). Later, the African Group nominated Amb. Marc Marengo (Seychelles). Shibata was also nominated to serve as rapporteur. Wensley then announced that the Chair of AOSIS had asked her to conclude the work of the Main Committee by 1:00 pm on Wednesday, 4 May, to allow time for an AOSIS Summit to precede the High-Level Segment. After consultations, it was agreed that the Main Committee would begin its work by considering Chapter XV of A/CONF.167/L.1, which will be the basis of the Committee's work. She urged delegates with new proposals to share these texts as widely as possible.

Greece, on behalf of the EU, suggested that the text of the preamble be condensed. On finance, the EU wants to see better use of existing plans and resources, and use of innovative financing mechanisms. On institutional development, there is a need to strengthen national institutional capacities and improve coordination at the sub-regional level. Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of the G-77, China and AOSIS, insisted that the draft Programme of Action should be looked at in its entirety. The Committee should not only concentrate on removing brackets and rubber-stamping the rest. She requested that the meeting adjourn so that the G-77 and AOSIS, could prepare themselves for the discussion on Chapter XV.

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