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PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

Most of the substantive negotiations took place in the Main Committee, which met continuously from Tuesday, 26 April, through Wednesday, 4 May, under the chairmanship of Amb. Penelope Wensley. The Main Committee's task was to finish what the PrepCom had begun and, thus, focussed its work on reaching agreement on the draft Programme of Action, as contained in document A/CONF.167/L.1. While there was already agreement on six of the 15 chapters, there were 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 Main Committee also entertained several new proposals, which were deemed to be non-controversial, and incorporated them into the document. During the course of the week, the corridors and small conference rooms were host to numerous small informal-informal consultations on many of the contentious paragraphs as delegates sought consensus. On the night before the Main Committee was due to complete its work, a small contact group met until 3:30 am when participants finally reached agreement on the paragraphs related to finance -- the issue that was, predictably, the most difficult to resolve.

The following is a summary of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.