The beginning of debate on this matter was confused, since many countries directed their comments toward the GEF, assuming that it would be the mechanism. After statements that referred directly to the GEF, the Bahamas suggested that rather than focussing exclusively on the GEF, the Group should enumerate the desired characteristics of the institution. During the second day of debate on this matter the GEF and the institution operating the financial mechanism were distilled from one another by the delegates.
Belgium, speaking on behalf of the EC, said that they desired a smooth and effective arrangement that would ensure a quick provision of financial assistance to developing countries. The EC member States cited both structural and performance components, such as transparency, democratic decision-making, and universal membership as essential. The US said that, beyond the requirements of the Convention, the mechanism should: fund high quality projects; facilitate participation of local communities and NGOs in project proposal and execution; and be responsive to the needs of biodiversity conservation. [Return to start of article]