Discussions covered three agenda items: 4.3.1, Draft Provisional Agenda for the First Meeting of the COP; 4.3.2, Preparation of the Third Session of the CSD; and 4.1.1, Rules of Procedure for Meetings of the COP, including their periodicity.
DRAFT PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FIRST MEETING OF THE COP: At the onset, ICCBD Chair, Amb. Vincente S nchez, reminded delegates that the first COP is a two-week session and that the issues in Item 4 are complex. The ICCBD may also recommend to the COP that Item 5 (recommendations by the ICCBD) be discussed after Item 4 (matters stipulated by the CBD). Discussion revolved around: the agenda for the COP; the substantive issues to be considered in the future work of the COP; and how to gather these inputs.
AGENDA OF THE COP: There was support that the COP should focus on the organizational and financial matters. The issues identified include the: rules of procedure; format, structure and reporting duties by the institutional structures to the COP; guidelines and disciplines of meetings of the SBSTTA and the election of its Chair; adoption of a budget for the second meeting of the COP; input into the CSD; determination of the agenda for the next COP; medium-term framework programme for future COP meetings; venue and date of the SBSTTA meeting; adoption of a budget of the financial period until the next meeting of the COP; reporting processes for the contracting Parties; preparation of both an agenda for the following year and a multiple year programme with medium-term programmes; and establishing the SBSTTA before the clearing house mechanism.
THE FUTURE WORK OF THE COP: Several delegations supported the preparation of medium- and long-term Programmes of Action (PA). They would cover: national strategies, plans or programmes; safety in biotechnology; cooperation with international bodies; indigenous communities, their traditional lifestyles, IPRs and genetic resources; the benefits of the conservation of species; capacity-building and benefit sharing; technology and financial resources; transfer of technology; and the reporting processes.
PROCESS FOR PREPARATION: Several approaches were proposed including: holding informal discussions during this ICCBD, with opportunity for follow-up comments from all Parties; the Interim Secretariat, with governmental inputs, could develop an agenda based on a workshop held during this session; the Interim Secretariat could prepare an informal paper for circulation to the Committee before the November COP meeting, gather comments, and use the compiled paper at the COP. In addition, there was a proposal that the COP adopt the CSD's multi-layer approach. Also the Interim Secretariat could prepare two papers on: the possible scope and objectives of reports for the COP; the impact of IPRs on biodiversity, how to redress the inequitable sharing of benefits, and genetic resource patenting rights for non-originators.
PREPARATION FOR THE THIRD SESSION OF THE CSD: Delegates noted the need to establish links with the CSD, by providing input into the 1995 CSD session addressing biodiversity issues, among others. Input to the CSD does not suggest a hierarchical relationship. It is necessary that the CSD input be completed by November 30 for considerartion by the COP. Four approaches were proposed: an open-ended working group from this ICCBD facilitated by UNEP to prepare a report; the Interim Secretariat to prepare a draft document, which would then be addressed by NY missions and then forwarded to the COP; an inter-governmental workshop hosted by Spain, with regional representation; or the Interim Secretariat could prepare a short report, invite comments, and then forward it to the first COP meeting. This last proposal received considerable support. The Chair will discuss this further with the extended bureau and return it to Plenary.
RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE COP: The Chair reported that the Contact Group dealing with the issue had almost completed its work. When the one outstanding matter is resolved the definitive rules will be brought back to the Plenary.
[Return to start of article]