The Plenary met at 4:00 pm in an informal session to discuss the Rules of Procedure. The Chair, T.P. Sreenivasan, distributed two non-papers from Monday"s drafting group. The first contains the bracketed rules and the second one contains new proposals. Rule 6 (Observers) and Rule 27 (Subsidiary Bodies) were accepted.
RULE 4 " DATES OF SESSIONS: The drafting group submitted: "The COP should endeavour not to hold such a session at a time which would make the attendance of a significant number of delegations difficult." There was no agreement on placement (in paragraph 2 or in a footnote). After Saudi Arabia tried to reinstate language on sacred religious holidays, delegates agreed to retain the compromise text in paragraph 2.
RULES 9-12 " AGENDA: In Rules 9, 10 and 11, the word "draft" was added before "provisional agenda." The Russian Federation proposed deleting "draft" from Rules 10 and 11 and reformulating Rule 9: "In agreement with the President, the secretariat shall draft the provisional agenda of each session." This was accepted. In Rule 12, delegates accepted the language adapted from the Biodiversity Convention Rules of Procedure.
RULE 42 " VOTING: Delegates made little progress in resolving differences over the number of votes needed to adopt a protocol. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait insisted on a 3/4 majority vote. Trinidad and Tobago and others insisted on a 2/3 majority. The Chair put the entire Rule in brackets.
RULE 54 " LANGUAGES: Japan proposed that the official languages of the COP should be English, French and Spanish. The Russian Federation and China objected and threatened to bracket the entire document unless all six UN languages are listed. The EU and Benin appealed to Japan not to insist, but Japan stood firm. The Chair said that this would be discussed by the Plenary.
NEW PROPOSALS: The Chair announced that the Bureau had agreed the informal group would not consider the new proposals in Rule 22 (Officers) and Rule 27 (Subsidiary Bodies). Venezuela, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia protested and insisted that their amendments be included in brackets. The EU rejected these proposals. The Chair said that he would announce in Plenary that new proposals were received and are up for consideration.
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