Plenary completed discussion of, and adopted, the Rules of Procedure for the COP, including periodicity of their meetings. The Chair, Amb. Vincente S nchez, then presented his report on the COP's possible contribution to the next session of the CSD. In spite of the discussions on the outstanding issues with the extended Bureau, no issues had been resolved by the start of the Plenary. The unresolved issues were left bracketed for the COP to address.
RULES OF PROCEDURE
Germany had proposed new text to Rule 4, paragraph 4, on the holding of ordinary meetings. For the first three years, they suggest annual ordinary meetings, after which the frequency of ordinary meetings would be decided by the COP.
Australia withdrew its proposal in Rule 6, paragraph 1, providing for the financial mechanism mentioned in Article 21, to attend as observer. He pointed out that their proposal was prompted by their preference for the mechanism to participate in an unqualified manner under Rule 6, to a qualified manner under Rule 7. Under Rule 6, the institution could participate as an observer without conditions. However, under Rule 7, a two-thirds majority is required and the issue under discussion must be relevant to the institution to gain access as an observer.
With regard to Rule 21, the Chair stated that the EU still had no instructions from their capitals to increase the bureau members to more than 5, as proposed by the Small Island Developing States. Both proposals are in brackets.
The contradictory Rule 35 was amended and approved. The amended penultimate sentence reads: "The President may in exceptional circumstances and in case of urgency, permit the discussion and consideration of proposals, amendments to proposals, or of procedural motions even though these proposals, amendments or motions have not been circulated or have been circulated only the same day or have not been translated into all the official languages of the Conference of the Parties."
Rule 40, providing for the procedure for making decisions was the most problematic. There is still no agreement on how the decisions regarding the financial mechanism (Article 21, paragraphs 1 and 2) and protocol (Article 19), would be made. Hence, the Secretariat had included a footnote to provide for the COP to amend the Rule pursuant to decisions that would be made on the Scales of Assessment (Financial Rules), which were still unresolved. However, the Netherlands and France noted that this provision was unnecessary as this Rule does not affect the discussion on scales of assessment. The footnote was deleted.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Following extensive discussions with the extended Bureau, the Chair proposed the possible preparatory process. The Interim Secretariat would prepare an input for the COP to consider and decide whether to forward it to the CSD. To do so, the Secretariat will circulate a one page document today, with proposals on possible content. After the ICCBD's discussion on this document, governments will be requested to forward their written contributions, of not more than two pages, not later than 15 August 1994. The Secretariat will also accept Spain's offer to host a workshop/seminar in Madrid in September, attended by not more than 20 experts, and invited in their individual capacities. On the basis of governmental inputs and the Madrid workshop/seminar, the Interim Secretariat will then prepare input for the COP. Materials from both processes will also be used as information documents for all COP delegates.
Sweden welcomed Spain's proposal and the discussion of providing input to the CSD during the COP. Especially given that the COP will likely only deal with technical and administrative aspects, substantive discussion focused on input to the CSD will be welcomed, particularly by NGOs and the media. Austria expressed his skepticism that the COP could endorse a substantive document during their brief meeting.
Kenya, while welcoming the Madrid workshop, thought that the output from the Mexico meeting might have been a better basis for recommendations. Australia stated that the Secretariat's input should be concise so that the COP does not engage in protracted debate. Greenpeace supported the Madrid initiative but hoped that NGOs would be invited and proposed three possible agenda items for the meeting: identification of the provision and obligations of the CBD which have direct relevance to the CSD clusters to be considered in 1995; identification of the processes by which the CBD could contribute to achieving the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity within these CSD clusters; and provision of the results of the consultation to the COP.
Cameroon hoped that in view of the small number of participants, regional representation would be ensured. Brazil hoped that NGOs from developing countries would be invited, and stated that the COP input should not duplicate work. At the request of the Philippines, UNEP stated that it would only play an advisory role at the initiative and request of Spain, and would not be involved in selecting the participants or deciding the agenda. Spain explained that: his government would immediately begin consultations with interested governments; NGOs and UN agencies would be invited; developing country delegates would be funded; and that the meeting was likely to take place mid-September.
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