PREPARATIONS FOR THE WSSD: Under the chairmanship of Amb. Zbigniew Maria Wlosowicz (Poland), the Working Group first addressed Agenda Item 3, Status of the preparations for the WSSD (A/CONF.166/PC.15). The Secretariat noted Trust Fund contributions from Austria, The Netherlands and Norway, as well as pledges from Australia and Sweden, in addition to those already mentioned in paragraph 16. A representative of the UN Department of Public Information provided an overview of its public information programme and media strategy.
RULES OF PROCEDURE: The Working Group then addressed Agenda Item 5, Draft rules of procedure (A/CONF.166/PC/L.6). Rule 6 (Elections) generated the most discussion. In response to Denmark's request, the Secretariat distributed the Rules of Procedure for UNCED and the ICPD. Benin and Egypt wanted to ensure equitable geographic representation on the Bureau. Benin also raised the point that Denmark, as host country, should be an ex officio member of the Bureau. Questions were raised about the number of vice presidents. The Secretariat pointed out that the Bureau size and distribution of seats is a political decision. The Chair suggested that the regional groups consult on this issue.
In Section XI, "Other participants and observers," Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, proposed the addition of a new paragraph, based on the Rules of Procedure for UNCED and the ICPD. It would permit associate members of regional commissions to participate as observers.
Questions were also raised about Rules 11 (General Committee); 20 (speeches); 35 (majority required); 45 (voting procedures); 49 (Main Committee officers); 51 (languages of the Summit); and 62 (NGOs). The Secretariat asked delegates to submit written proposals.
PROPOSED ORGANIZATION FOR THE SUMMIT: In the morning, the Secretariat distributed a "Note on the proposed organization for the Summit." Two key issues needed to be resolved. First, the format for the pre-Summit meetings (6-10 or 11 March), including a general debate and a main committee to negotiate outstanding issues. Second, delegates must decide between a two- or three-day meeting of Heads of State or Government.
Questions were raised about the length of the meeting of Heads of State. Benin and Egypt called for a three-day session (10-12 March). The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and the US supported a two-day meeting (11-12 March) to ensure that Heads of State speaking on the first day will not leave before the conclusion of the Summit. The decision is complicated by the fact that no one knows how many Heads of State will attend. A decision should be taken by the end of this session of the PrepCom.
The Netherlands suggested that the Summit break new ground in the way the UN structures meetings by having discussions around certain topics in a format other than a general debate.
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