ENB:08:25 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

MAIN COMMITTEE

The Main Committee met in the morning to review the status of all outstanding issues in the Programme of Action. The Chair noted that as of the beginning of the day the Committee had 26.5 hours left and 24 outstanding paragraphs. When the Committee resumed in the late afternoon, delegates reported that agreement had been reached on all of the outstanding paragraphs, except for those related to finance.

PREAMBLE: In a demonstration of their flexibility, AOSIS/G-77 agreed to delete the bracketed text in paragraph 5 and all of paragraph 6, which referred to the responsibility and custodianship of SIDS toward the marine environment. Paragraphs 15 (financing of the Programme of Action) and 16 (the special needs of the least developed SIDS) are being considered in the extended bureau meeting on finance.

I. CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEA LEVEL RISE: Agreed.

II. NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS: Agreed.

III. MANAGEMENT OF WASTES: Agreement was reached on paragraph 22 by day's end. The second sentence on the vulnerability of SIDS to contamination by toxic and hazardous wastes and chemicals, and radioactive materials was appended with the following: "is of international concern and of priority concern to small island developing States."

Agreement was also reached on the new paragraph A(viii), which reads: "In conformity with the Basel Convention and relevant decisions taken by the Parties to that Convention, the small island developing States should formulate and enforce national laws and/or regulations that ban the importation from OECD countries of hazardous wastes and other wastes subject to the Basel Convention, including hazardous wastes and other wastes destined for recycling and recovery operations."

IV. COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCES: Agreed.

V. FRESHWATER RESOURCES: Australia's proposal for paragraph 27 on groundwater resources was merged with the existing paragraph. The paragraph now includes reference to long term management strategies for water catchment and storage areas and the need to supply water for sanitation purposes during times of drought.

VI. LAND RESOURCES: Agreed.

VII. ENERGY RESOURCES: Agreed.

VIII. TOURISM RESOURCES: The new paragraph 37.A(iii) on combatting illicit drug trafficking and money laundering was moved to Chapter X, paragraph 46.C(iv).

IX. BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES: After lengthy negotiations, paragraph 42.A(vii) now reads: "Ensure that the ownership of intellectual property rights is adequately and effectively protected. Ensure, subject to national legislation and policies, that technology, knowledge and customary and traditional practices of local and indigenous people, including resource owners and custodians, are adequately and effectively protected and that they thereby benefit directly, on an equitable basis and on mutually agreed terms, from any utilization of such technologies, knowledge and practices or from any technological development directly derived therefrom."

X. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY: Agreed.

XI. REGIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION: Agreed.

XII. TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION: After consultations on paragraph 52.C(v), the following text was accepted: "Promote improved international telecommunications at the lowest possible cost for small island developing States, while recognizing the need to create an environment conducive to the investment in telecommunications infrastructure and service to benefit local business and people."

XIII. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Agreed.

XIV. HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: After six hours of intense negotiation, consensus was reached on paragraph 58. The second sentence now reads: "Poor health and social services and nutrition and housing, low levels of female participation in development, current insufficiency of education, information and means, as appropriate, for the responsible planning of family size, and inadequate family planning services demonstrate the need for attention to human resource development issues."

Paragraphs 61.A(iii) and (iv) remain in the text as they appear in A/CONF/167/L.1. However, a new paragraph 61 bis was added. It reads: "The recommendations and language contained in this chapter should in no way prejudice discussions at the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo in September 1994." This is similar language to that used in Chapter 5.66 of Agenda 21.

XV. IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING AND REVIEW: In the morning, Australia announced that agreement had been reached on paragraph 91, as read out Monday, with a small amendment. The last sentence now reads: "Towards this objective, special consideration should be given, where appropriate, to the local value added criteria applicable to the exports of SIDS."

Agreement was also reached on the two paragraphs on intellectual property rights. Paragraph 71 encourages enhancing the capacity for the development of indigenous technology, while adequately and effectively protecting intellectual property rights. Paragraph 95 refers to the need to improve the endogenous capacity of SIDS to absorb, manage and utilize environmentally sound technologies through education and training. The paragraph also ensures transfer of technologies on favorable, concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, while protecting intellectual property rights.

The paragraphs on finance in Chapter XV and the Preamble, as well as the US proposal for a new paragraph on reporting to the CSD on implementation of the Programme of Action, were still being discussed by the extended bureau. This group reconvened at 7:30 pm Tuesday and was expected to reach agreement before daybreak.

[Return to start of article]