It was agreed that the Bureau consist of the Chair, Ambassador Vincente S nchez (Chile); Vice-Chairs Veit Koester (Denmark), S.K. Ongeri (Kenya), and Georgy Zavarzin (Russian Federation); the Rapporteur, Sarfraz Ahmad (Pakistan); and the proposed Vice-Chair of Working Group I, Frantisek Urban (Czech Republic) and the Vice-Chair of Working Group II, Balmiki Prasad Singh (India). At the first meetings of the Working Groups, Nordahl Roalds"y (Norway) was elected the Rapporteur of Working Group I and Sulayman Samba (Gambia) was elected Rapporteur of Working Group II. With this, Amb. S nchez's all-male Bureau was complete.
RULES OF PROCEDURE: Before passing the gavel to Amb. S nchez, Dowdeswell introduced the proposed rules of procedure (UNEP/CBD/IC/1/2). She noted that they applied only to the ICCBD, and that later in the week one of the working groups would take up the issue of rules of procedure for the COP. She stated that these were the same rules of procedure used during the INC, as modified with technical changes. Dowdeswell said that the decisions of the ICCBD are not legally binding, but recommendations only.
Although the majority of the rules of procedure were acceptable, two met with some discussion. France proposed an amendment to Rule 28, on proposals and amendments, regarding the translation of documents into all languages. After some discussion, Rule 28 was modified to direct the Executive Director to circulate copies of proposals and amendments to proposals translated into the languages of the meetings to all participants. It further states that no proposal shall be discussed if it has not been circulated to all participants not later than the day preceding the meeting, and the translation in the languages of meetings is available at the time of the meeting.
The other rule that proved to be problematic was Rule 45 on subsidiary bodies. Several Governments, particularly from the South, had privately expressed their unease with the Executive Director's suggestion to Governments in UNEP/CBD/IC/1/3, "Issues before the ICCBD," that they consider delegating responsibility to the Bureau or a small steering group regarding the interim financial mechanism and establish a subsidiary body on financial arrangements. Brazil, supported by Colombia, on behalf of the G-77, and Malaysia, proposed that rule 45 on subsidiary bodies be amended by adding the word, "during its sessions" to the end of the rule that says the ICCBD may establish subsidiary organs. 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. Australia highlighted the need to first examine the Committee's programme of work and to identify how best it could be accomplished over this week. Sweden stated that Brazil's proposal raised a policy question rather than one of procedure. Explaining that their concern over intersessional activity was based on geographical realities rather than political concerns, Brazil presented compromise text the next day. The new language would permit intersessional meetings that would be open-ended and in accordance to the terms of reference to be decided by the Committee.
The agreed text for rule 45 was, "The Committee may establish such open-ended subsidiary organs as may be necessary for the effective discharge of its functions and such subsidiary organs shall function in accordance with the terms of reference decided by the Committee and shall report to it. If the Committee deems it necessary, such subsidiary organs may hold inter-sessional meetings and shall report to the Committee at its next session." [Return to start of article]