<B>AGENDA ITEM 2 - ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS</B>
The Plenary opened with the appointment of the Chair, Sen. Dr. Ivy L. Dumont, the Bahamas Minister of Health and Environment. Dumont noted the difficulties of the Convention's mandate and that the ICCBD had delivered clear recommendations from whose wisdom the COP could draw.
The Bureau nominees, which were transmitted from Sunday's informal sessions, were appoved. They include: Cameroon and Mauritius (Africa); the Czech Republic and Estonia (Eastern Europe); Peru (GRULAC); Canada and Denmark (WEOG); and Malaysia and another country to be named (Asia).
Colombia noted that it had been inadventently ommitted from the list of countries that have ratified the Convention. Myanmar said it had also deposited its instrument of ratification. The Executive Secretary said that the Secretariat had not yet received official notification of Colombia's ratification but that Myanmar had been included on the latest list. Later in the Plenary session, the Executive Secretary announced that notice of Colombia's ratification had been received and that it would be added to an updated list of ratifications.
With regard to the adoption of the agenda, Brazil requested that biosafety, access to genetic resources and indigenous knowledge be included in the provisional agenda. Spain called for discussions on the location of the secretariat. Switzerland supported Spain's request, but noted that at ICCBD-2 the European Union had recommended that discussion of the secretariat location be deferred until the second COP. Germany, on behalf of the EU, supported Brazil's request to discuss biosafety and Spain's proposal to discuss the secretariat. The Chair agreed to add the location issue to the agenda. The provisional agenda was adopted, as orally amended. The Secretariat announced that the speakers list for the Ministerial segment will be closed on 1 December at 1 p.m.
<B>AGENDA ITEM 3 - ADOPTION OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES:</B>
The Chair reported on Sunday's informal consultations. On Rule 21 (Bureau), a president, eight vice-presidents, and a rapporteur are to be elected from parties present at each meeting to serve as the Bureau until the next ordinary meeting. The selection will be made with regard to equitable geographic representation and with adequate representation of SIDS.
The informal consultations also agreed to bracket Rule 4, paragraph 1 (Date of Meetings) and Rule 40 (Voting). Despite Japan's objections to Rule 52 (Working Languages), the Committee adopted the draft rules with the oral amendment to Rule 21 and the brackets around Rules 4 and 40.
<B>AGENDA ITEM 4: REPORT OF THE ICCBD:</B>
Amb. Vincente Sanchez (ICCBD Chair) said the Convention's swift entry into force focused the ICCBD's deliberations on issues for the first COP including: periodicity of meetings; financial issues; selection of a competent organization to host the secretariat; a clearing-house mechanism; policy, strategy and eligibility for financial resources; institutional structures for a financial mechanism, and the list of developed country parties and others assuming developed country obligations. The ICCBD considered the subsidiary scientific body, and requested that the COP make a contribution to the CSD session.
When the Plenary resumed in the afternoon, the Chair, Dr. Dumont, announced that the Bureau had agreed to elect Mr. V. Koester (Denmark) as Chair of the Committee of the Whole. The Bureau further agreed to postpone election of the rapporteur and decided that agenda item 9 (medium-term programme of work) would be examined by the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday. Delegates adopted the organization of work as outlined in document UNEP /CBD/COP/1/1/Add.2. The Chair also announced that the Bureau will meet every morning from 9-10 am and that the next Plenary session will be announced in the Journal. The Plenary was suspended and followed immediately by the Committee of the Whole.
[Return to start of article]