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IN THE CORRIDORS

Several delegations expressed concern about the prospect of numerous simultaneous working groups, particularly worrisome to small delegations. Some alternatives have been put forth to discourage the proliferation problem, including limiting the total number of working groups to two, commencing working group meetings immediately, banning concurrent meetings, and encouraging regional groups to work out consensus positions in advance. Participants speculated that working groups soon would be formed around agricultural biodiversity and financial issues. One delegate observed that ultimately a proliferation of working groups will be necessary given the large number of complex issues on the COP-3 agenda. Look for a Bureau decision regarding the establishment of working groups during the morning COW.