Three contact groups met Saturday late into the evening to resolve several issues: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3: The contact group coordinated by Antigua and Barbuda, on agenda items 6.1 (Policy, strategy, programme priorities and eligibility criteria), 6.2 (Institutional structure to operate the financial mechanism ) and 6.3 (List of developed country Parties and other Parties ) met to discuss the progress made on informal consultations held with representatives from regional/interest groups. The contact group will continue informal consultations and will reconvene on Monday to discuss the results. 6.5, 6.6, 9, 10: The contact group coordinated by Mauritania finished work on agenda item 6.5 (Selection of competent international organization) and discussed 6.6 (Financial rules governing funding of the Secretariat) with many difficult issues still to be resolved including the nature of contributions. Progress was made with many outstanding issues in item 9 (Medium-term programme of work). The group did agree to establish an ad hoc working group to consider the need for and modalities of a biosafety protocol. The group met late Sunday to complete work on item 10 (Budget for the Secretariat). 6.4, 7, 8: The contact group coordinated by Canada completed discussions on agenda items 6.4 (Clearing-house mechanism) and 7 (SBSTTA). The group agreed that the Interim Secretariat should prepare a study to assist the COP in the establishment of the clearing-house mechanism. The group read through item 8 (Preparation of the participation of the Convention in the third sesssion of the CSD). Delegates agreed to delete references to marine ecosystems, but agreed to refer to the relationship between poverty and biodiversity. One of the key outstanding issues is the relationship of the COP to CSD forests discussions. NGOs were allowed to observe all contact groups except for the group that dealt with the medium-term work programme.
[Return to start of article]