At the first session of the Plenary, ICCBD Chair Amb. Vincente S nchez proposed the creation of a drafting group (Friends of the Chair) to "polish" the rules of procedure before they are formally discussed by the Plenary. The rules of procedure were negotiated at the first session of the ICCBD, but were not adopted. Due to the objection of several delegates, it was agreed that the rules of procedure would be discussed by the Plenary before they were "cleaned-up" by a contact group, chaired by Patrick Szll of the UK.
The Plenary first discussed the rules of procedure (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/3) on Wednesday, 22 June 1994. The 57 rules cover purpose, definitions, place of meetings, dates of meetings, observers, agenda, representation and credentials, officers, subsidiary bodies, secretariat, conduct of business, voting, languages, amendments, and the overriding authority of the Convention.
By the beginning of the second week, agreement had been reached in the small contact group on all but six issues. These included: observer status for the financial mechanism referred to in Article 21 of the Convention; the size of the bureau; decision-making either by consensus or by a two-thirds majority; and reduction of the number of working languages from six to three. Further informal negotiations undertaken by the Chair also proved unsuccessful. The breakthrough finally came on Thursday, 30 June 1994, when some delegations relented. A lot of progress on this issue was made due to the realization that the COP would be unable to conduct any business without rules of procedure. Three unresolved issues were left bracketed for the COP to address at its first meeting. These issues are: