After Ricupero's speech, Dowdeswell proposed adjourning the meeting to allow time for regional groups to meet. She first invited the heads of the regional groups to meet with her for informal consultations immediately before these regional group meetings. In her closing remarks, Dowdeswell asked the regional groups to address the outstanding procedural matters and called upon the Committee to deal expediently with them to ensure that substantive discussions could commence as soon as possible.
The session was reconvened at 3 pm. Dowdeswell announced that she had met with representatives of regional groups on three issues: size, composition and the election of the bureau; the necessity of an additional meeting of the ICCBD; and the possible modification of the agenda in light of the morning's delay. Since members requested a further meeting of regional groups, she suggested adjourning until 4:30 pm.
The session was reconvened at 5:30 pm. Dowdeswell suggested dealing with the election of officers first, and announced that an understanding had been reached in the regional groups. The task was difficult for several reasons: there had been informal arrangements made in the past; there was confusion about the nature of the INC Bureau; and confusion as to what part of the Bureau had been formal and informal. It was agreed that the Bureau would combine the five members of the previous INC Bureau with two new members, together with the possibility of additional members. The working groups and the regional groups would be asked to discuss the possibility of selecting rapporteurs, possibly from Africa and WEOG. It was agreed that the Bureau consist of the Chair from Chile; Vice Chairs from Denmark, Kenya, and Russia; the Rapporteur from Pakistan; and the proposed Vice Chair of Working Group I from Eastern Europe and the Vice Chair of Working Group II from India.
Dowdeswell proceeded to describe the proposed rules of procedure. She noted that they applied only to the ICCBD, and that later in the week the Working Groups could take up the issue of rules of procedure for the COP. She stated that these were the same rules of procedure used during the negotiations, as modified with technical changes. Dowdeswell said that the decisions of the ICCBD are not legally binding, but are recommendations only. At this point the Swedish delegate raised a point of order, suggesting that the newly elected Chair preside over the deliberations.
The delegate from Brazil, supported by Colombia, on behalf of the G-77, and by Malaysia, proposed that rule 45 be amended. He suggested that the phrase, "during its session" be added to the end of paragraph 1. Norway asked if this change would preclude the establishment of any subsidiary organs during the intersessional period. The Chair responded that with this amendment the establishment of subsidiary organs would only be valid during sessions of the Committee. Australia, supported by Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria, disagreed with Brazil's proposal on the grounds that it was premature. She highlighted the need to first examine the Committee's programme of work and to identify how best it could be accomplished over this week. She noted her appreciation for the concern for transparent and open processes but would regret any restrictions on the capacity of the Committee to be creative in the completion of its work. Sweden stated that Brazil's proposal raised a policy question rather than one of procedure. Brazil responded that there were two ways to deal with this issue: by vote or by brackets. The Chair noted the concerns raised and said that everyone supports open and transparent decision making. Austria noted that no vote could be held until rules of procedure for voting were adopted and that brackets could not be used. Due to lack of time the meeting was adjourned and the matter postponed to today's Plenary.
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