On Tuesday afternoon, 28 March 1995, the Committee of the Whole (COW) began its work. The newly elected Chair, Amb. Estrada, reminded delegates that the Plenary has asked the COW to consider the following five items: review of adequacy of Article 4.2(a) and (b), including proposals relating to a protocol and decisions on follow-up; criteria for joint implementation; roles of the subsidiary bodies established by the Convention, including their programmes of work and calendars of meetings; guidance on programme priorities, eligibility criteria and policies, and on the determination of 'agreed full incremental costs;' and designation of a Permanent Secretariat and arrangements for its functioning, including budget and physical location.
During the course of the COP-1, the COW considered each of the items in a general debate and then established small consulting or drafting groups to work out the details for each decision. The following is a summary of the consideration of these items.
REVIEW OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE COMMITMENTS IN ARTICLE 4.2(a) AND (b): The COW considered the adequacy of commitments on Wednesday and Thursday, 29 and 30 March 1995. The Secretariat noted that INC-11 had agreed that present commitments are only a first step toward meeting Convention goals, and that the COP should take appropriate action based on this review. He noted the AOSIS protocol is contained in A/AC.237/L.23 and the German elements paper is A/AC.237/L.23/Add.1.
The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that implementation of current commitments should be the COP's chief concern. Responsibility should not shift from Annex I to non-Annex I Parties. He called for further discussion of a protocol. India endorsed the G-77 and China's statement and expressed concern about certain parts of the AOSIS proposal. Supported by Indonesia, he stressed the need for a protocol that imposes commitments only on Annex I Parties. Sri Lanka said developing countries should not have to share new commitments.
Samoa, on behalf of AOSIS, and supported by Fiji, Mauritius, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Norway and the Republic of Korea, called for adoption of the AOSIS protocol. He said the AOSIS States proposed the draft protocol because they are being hit first and hardest by climate change that they are not responsible for, adding that continuing emissions at present levels would be a disaster for all. He summarized the main features of the AOSIS protocol: an additional commitment that developed countries reduce CO2 emissions by 2005 to 20% below 1990 levels; no additional commitments for developing countries; a comprehensive approach to other greenhouse gases in a phased manner; and a coordination mechanism for cooperation on economic, administrative and other implementation measures. Antigua and Barbuda said island States view sea level rise as the primary threat. The AOSIS protocol takes a universal view rather than narrowly confining its approach to the views of those living on large continental shelves. Bangladesh said there must be a definite commitment to reduce CO2 emissions beyond 2000 and any country that exceeds the identified standard should be subject to some form of emissions tax.
France, on behalf of the EU, and supported by Poland and Hungary, urged COP-1 to map out a protocol mandate, which would establish an open-ended ad hoc working group, require a report for COP-2 and set guidelines for conclusions.
The Netherlands said that it would be irresponsible to postpone further action. Industrialized countries should significantly reduce their emissions. The COP should agree on a mandate and guidance for negotiating a protocol to be adopted in 1997. Germany said an immediate framework for reductions is an urgent requirement. Delegates should adopt a clear mandate as a starting point for protocol negotiations. He added that only if industrialized countries agreed to reductions could other States be expected to take on commitments at an appropriate time. Switzerland said Parties should prepare a protocol by 1997. She called for an ad hoc working group to conduct negotiations, adopt a mandate and schedule, and take a coordinated and cooperative approach to reductions. Norway advocated joint targets for OECD countries based on equitable sharing of responsibility.
The Czech Republic and Argentina supported negotiations on a draft protocol that should use the AOSIS protocol and the German elements paper as a starting point. Slovakia said negotiations on a protocol should conclude in 1997-98. Uruguay endorsed charting a course on a protocol and establishing a working group at COP-2, including oil producing countries.
Mauritania said a universal negotiation process should be established within the COP and not in a subsidiary body.
The US said that a drafting group should work on a mandate to begin a negotiating process within the SBI, with the SBSTA working on an assessment for limiting greenhouse gases (GHGs).
New Zealand said that a clear mandate was critical for COP-1 since current commitments are not adequate, and called for a cooperative approach based on common but differentiated responsibilities. The mandate should include: work towards a protocol under the SBI with a legally-binding instrument in 1997; the inclusion of all GHGs; action for the post-2000 period; reduction efforts led by developed countries and those developing countries contributing most to emissions; and the creation of a business consultative mechanism. Australia called for clear guidelines for the negotiations of a protocol that must not limit action to one group of countries, but should involve action by all Parties within the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Brazil said delegates should not prejudge the mechanisms for perfecting implementation of the Convention, which could include the drafting of a new instrument, a protocol, other measures and means, timetables and targets, or some combination of these. He said developing countries' right to development should not be compromised, and that trying to enroll developing countries in a hasty manner or by making linkages with joint implementation would not solve any problems.
China said a majority of States is not yet ready to negotiate a protocol. Full implementation of existing commitments is an essential step for Annex I Parties. China cannot accept the creation of new categories of countries and thought it inappropriate for developing county Parties to undertake new commitments. Algeria, on behalf of the African Group, said in light of the Convention's principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, the polluter pays and the right to development, African countries are not willing to accept any new commitments.
The Russian Federation stated that the AOSIS proposal lacks significant scientific basis. Thailand said the decision to negotiate a protocol should only be taken after the release of the second IPCC assessment report. Saudi Arabia said that although its approach and concerns are different, it is not blocking progress. Saudi Arabia expressed concern that it would be affected economically by the different measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, particularly oil. He said that the COP should not take hasty steps, but should wait for the IPCC's second assessment report.
Kuwait quoted from the report of IPCC's Working Group III that emissions scenarios are not appropriate inputs to negotiation of possible emission reductions. He said that it was premature to draft a protocol when Annex I Parties have not met current commitments. Iran said that full implementation of commitments by Annex I Parties must be the first priority. A decision on inadequacy of commitments should wait until the release of the IPCC's second assessment report.
Venezuela emphasized that Parties must honor existing commitments before pursuing a protocol. Nigeria faces triple vulnerability: environmental impacts of climate change, the socioeconomic aspects of climate policy, and an economy dependent on oil revenue. Additional burdens are unacceptable.
The UK observed that some delegations have drawn attention to scientific uncertainty, but warned against underestimating what is already known. Commitments that only go to 2000 are inadequate, and are not reason enough to avoid setting a new time-frame.
After hearing these initial statements, the Chair asked Amb. Bo Kjelln (Sweden) to convene consultations on the adequacy of commitments. The consultative group met for the first time on Friday morning, 31 March 1995, with a standing-room-only crowd. Although the large number of delegates was not conducive to drafting, delegates were able to further exchange views on possible elements of a mandate for further consultations on the adequacy of commitments. Consultations resumed Friday afternoon, but by the end of the day it was clear that no progress could be made. The Chair requested that the G-77 and China meet to reconsider their position and report back at the next meeting.
The G-77 and China met Saturday afternoon to discuss their position. India tabled a draft decision setting forth the principles to guide consultations on strengthening the commitments of Annex I Parties in Article 4.2(a) and (b) and how the consultations should be conducted. When the G-77 appeared to be deadlocked, it was proposed that the G-77 meeting adjourn and that a meeting of 'like minded States' (developing countries minus the oil-producing States) convene in its place. Kjelln's group reconvened Saturday evening and India, on behalf of 72 developing States ' also referred to as the "Green Group" ' tabled its proposed elements of a mandate for consultations on commitments. On Sunday afternoon, delegates agreed to base further negotiations on the paper produced by the Green Group.
Consultations reconvened Monday, 3 April 1995. The EU distributed its comments on the paper produced by the Green Group. The consultations adjourned so that the G-77 could review the EU comments. Amb. Kjelln also requested that the various groups select representatives so that a group of 24 'Friends of the Chair' could convene that evening to begin negotiations. This group of 'Friends' consisted of four members of the EU, four other OECD country representatives, two OPEC countries, two Eastern European countries, and delegates from the Green Group. Some of the main issues in the discussion were: commitments for developing country Parties; setting specific and legally-binding reduction targets (e.g. the Toronto Target) within specified time- frames; combining a reduction target for Annex I Parties with measures such as transfer of financial resources and technology to developing countries; and the target date for completion of the negotiations.
Negotiations on the elements of a mandate continued throughout the day and night Tuesday and Wednesday. Some participants commented that there had been progress toward agreement on a mandate to negotiate or consult on a protocol to be adopted by 1997. The question that remained when the group adjourned Wednesday night was how forward-looking this mandate would be.
After meeting throughout the day on Thursday with little success, delegates asked their ministers to joint the consultations. The final outstanding issues included language on the goals of the next phase of negotiations on commitments, whether 'targets' would be mentioned, and how the decision would treat the commitments of non-Annex I Parties. A final negotiating session began at 11:00 pm, under the leadership of COP President Angela Merkel. In the early morning hours on Friday, the ministerial meeting adjourned and delegates, accompanied by a few ministers, separated into two rooms ' one room for developing country ministers and delegates and one room for OECD ministers and delegates. Merkel conducted 'shuttle diplomacy' between the two groups until agreement was reached at 6:00 am.
The document adopted during the final session of the Plenary, FCCC/CP/1995/L.14, agrees to begin a process to enable the COP to take appropriate action for the period beyond 2000, including the strengthening of the commitments of Annex I Parties in Article 4, paragraph 2(a) and (b), through the adoption of a protocol or another legal instrument. The process shall be guided by the legitimate needs of developing countries for sustained economic growth and the right to promote sustainable development; the widest possible cooperation by all countries, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions; and coverage of all GHGs, their emissions by sources and removal by sinks in all relevant sectors. The process will aim for Annex I Parties to elaborate policies and measures, and set quantified limitation and reduction objectives within specified time-frames, such as 2005, 2010 and 2020, for anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of GHGs not controlled by the Montreal Protocol. The process takes into account differences in starting points and approaches, economic structures and resource bases, the need to maintain economic growth, available technology and other individual circumstances, the need for equitable and appropriate contribution by these Parties to the global effort, and a process of assessment and analysis laid out in the decision.
The process will not introduce any new commitments for Parties not included in Annex I, but reaffirms existing commitments in Article 4.1 and continues to advance the implementation of these commitments. The process will be carried out in light of the best available scientific information, including the IPCC and other available expertise. The AOSIS draft protocol, along with other proposals and pertinent documents, will be included for consideration in the process. The process should begin without delay and be conducted in an open-ended ad hoc group of Parties that will report to COP-2 on progress. The group's sessions should be scheduled to ensure completion of the work as early as possible in 1997 with a view to adopting the results at COP-3.
CRITERIA FOR JOINT IMPLEMENTATION: The COW formally considered joint implementation (JI) on Thursday, 30 March 1995. The Chair introduced document A/AC.237/91/Add.1, which contains the text of proposals tabled at INC-11 by the G-77 and China, the EU and the US.
The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, reiterated points contained in their proposal, including the application of emission limits to only Annex I Parties and the distinction between joint activities and joint implementation. Colombia said that developing countries should not assume the same obligations as developed countries. JI should be differentiated from the transfer of technology and financial resources.
Bangladesh said single-country initiatives should not be crowded out or overshadowed by JI. Indonesia said that joint activities between developed and developing countries should be based on national priorities of the recipient country and facilitate the transfer of technology and financial resources. China expressed confusion over tradable rights and other new ideas. Emission reductions should only apply to developed countries. The provision of financial resources for JI projects should not be counted as support for developing country Parties.
Brazil strongly opposed JI and added that his delegation did not want to exchange 'smoke for trees.' India said a pilot phase could be launched if no credits were allocated. JI should also be voluntary, bilateral and directly related to national development priorities. Algeria, on behalf of the African States, said that JI can only be undertaken by Parties with the same obligations and responsibilities. JI should be approached on an experimental basis using pilot voluntary activities fully financed by Annex I Parties. Mali said that a JI pilot phase should be extended to cover developing countries, but developed countries should not assume a reduction of their commitments.
Canada supported a phased JI approach as a mechanism to encourage private sector capital and increase access to technology. JI participation does not impose new obligations on developing countries. Fiji supported a pilot phase to help the COP set firm criteria. Kuwait said that any amendment of the G-77 and China proposal would involve the danger of transferring Annex I Parties' commitments to other countries. He supported initiating a pilot phase in accordance with the G-77 criteria.
Chile said clear criteria should address the percentage of reductions of developed countries produced through projects in developing countries, with controls to prevent developed countries from escaping their commitments. JI could be linked with new commitments from developed countries as an item the developing countries could offer. Poland supported initiatives to address emissions targets at lowest cost and to create opportunities to negotiate stronger commitments. Costa Rica and the Czech Republic said JI provides a role for the private sector. Argentina called for clear instructions for a pilot phase that will do away with skepticism. Belize agreed with Costa Rica and Chile. There should be a pilot phase open to non-Annex I Parties.
Germany said that JI may be beneficial for developing countries since cooperative measures may improve access to technologies, trigger investments, and involve an exchange of experience and knowledge. He supported the pilot phase. France, on behalf of the EU, called for a pilot phase that is transparent, well-defined and credible, with no credits for Annex I Parties. JI should not be used to impose new commitments on non-Annex I Parties.
The Russian Federation said COP-1 should adopt criteria for JI and called for equality of participation by all Parties. Peru said that COP-1 should provide criteria for JI. He called for a pilot phase that accommodates national development plans.
New Zealand said that JI is a means for limiting GHGs, assisting technology transfer and promoting sustainable development. He called for the establishment of a pilot phase without credits designed to evaluate criteria and crediting issues. The US said JI has enormous potential to improve flows of environmentally sound technologies between countries and provide cost-effective ways of reduce global emissions. Japan supported a JI pilot phase without credits, and added that JI activities should be voluntary, transparent, open to all Parties, financed independently of existing ODA and provide for technology transfer.
Australia said that COP-1 should initiate a JI pilot phase with participation open to all Parties. JI should not be used as a means for avoiding commitments, and crediting should be addressed after a review of the pilot phase in 1998.
Switzerland said the COP should request the SBI to: evaluate pilot phase projects; verify information communicated; and make recommendations for the post-pilot phase period. Cameroon said supporting a pilot phase appears to endorse a structure that no one really knows anything about. The Republic of Korea said all interested Parties should go ahead and show the rest of the world the results.
The Chair said that COP-1 had to take decisions on criteria for JI implementation and that he would engage in further consultations on this matter. Over the next four days, the G-77 and China drafted their own decision on joint implementation for consideration by the COW. On Tuesday, 4 April 1995, Estrada noted that there had been progress and that the time was ripe for consultations between groups. He proposed that Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania) coordinate these consultations.
The consultations began Tuesday evening with approximately 30 delegates working from the G-77 draft decision and the EU and US papers from INC-11. The consultations lasted until 6:30 am Wednesday. With the exception of credits, there appeared to be agreement on text to establish a JI pilot phase. Delegates agreed to change the name and refer to 'projects implemented jointly' rather than 'joint implementation' to imply that there is still no acceptance on the criteria for JI. Throughout the day Wednesday, small groups of delegates met in the corridors trying to reach agreement on the question of credits, the length of the pilot phase and under which articles of the Convention can implementation of joint projects be undertaken. Towards the end of the day, the US said that it could not indicate its acceptance of the emerging compromise until Thursday morning.
On Thursday, the consultative group reconvened and after a few countries tried to re- open previously agreed upon language, the group reached consensus on the text. On Thursday night the COW adopted FCCC/CP/1995/L.13 on activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase. Brazil noted that it had made major concessions, and that the COP should look carefully at activities implemented jointly whenever they involve Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Claiming credit for cooperation is something that runs the risk of destroying the concept that countries are responsible for their national emissions.
The final text establishes a pilot phase for activities implemented jointly among Annex I Parties and, on a voluntary basis, with non-Annex I Parties that so request. Activities implemented jointly should be compatible with and supportive of national environment and development priorities and strategies, contribute to cost-effectiveness in achieving global benefits and be conducted in a comprehensive manner covering all relevant sources, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases.
Activities implemented jointly should bring about real, measurable and long-term environmental benefits related to the mitigation of climate change that would not have occurred in the absence of such activities. The financing of such activities shall be additional to the financial obligations of Annex II Parties and current ODA flows. No credits shall accrue to any Party as a result of GHG emissions reduced or sequestered during the pilot phase.
The SBSTA and SBI will establish a framework for reporting on the possible global benefits, the national economic, social and environmental impacts, and experience gained or difficulties encountered. The subsidiary bodies will prepare a synthesis report for consideration by the COP. A comprehensive review of the pilot phase will take place no later than the end of the present decade to decide on the pilot phase and the subsequent activities.
ROLES OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES ESTABLISHED BY THE CONVENTION, INCLUDING THEIR PROGRAMMES OF WORK AND CALENDARS OF MEETINGS: The COW considered INC-11 Recommendation 8 on subsidiary bodies contained in document A/AC.237/91/Add.1 on Friday, 31 March 1995. Benin asked whether the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) would meet at the same time. The Chair clarified that the subsidiary bodies would meet one after the other. The COW agreed to recommend to the Plenary that the subsidiary bodies should meet in Geneva at the following times: first session ' October 1995; intergovernmental technical advisory panels and workshop on non- governmental inputs ' January 1996; second session ' mid-February 1996; intergovernmental technical advisory panels ' April 1996; and third session ' July 1996. The COW agreed to recommend COP-1 to authorize the subsidiary bodies to establish intergovernmental technical panels subject to confirmation by COP-2.
The COW also agreed to recommend to COP-1 that in the first year, the organization of workshops would depend on the host governments and that facilities for hosting these workshops would have to come from sources external to the Secretariat budget. Additionally, the Committee agreed to recommend that the subsidiary bodies' bureaus would make a proposal to COP-2 on the relationship between the subsidiary bodies and the IPCC. The Chair suggested that on matters regarding review and synthesis of national communications, the subsidiary bodies' bureaus could submit a proposal providing guidance to COP-2. The US and Benin said that any such proposal should be reviewed by the full membership of both subsidiary bodies. The COW agreed to recommend this formulation to the Plenary. Uruguay asked about the relationship between these subsidiary bodies and other relevant UN organizations and Conventions. The Chair clarified that in all meetings of the COP and its subsidiary bodies, all organizations and Convention Secretariats who wish to attend may do so.
On Monday, 3 April 1995, Estrada introduced document FCCC/CP/1995/L.5 on the Roles of Subsidiary Bodies. He directed delegates' attention to four sections: paragraph 3, authorizing the SBSTA to establish two intergovernmental advisory panels subject to confirmation at COP-2; paragraph 6, inviting officers of the subsidiary bodies to submit proposals to COP-2 for their future cooperation with the IPCC; paragraph 9, directing the Secretariat to arrange three subsequent sessions for the subsidiary bodies; and paragraph 10, recommending that workshops and other events that are not budgeted be funded by the host country or other governments. L.5 was recommended for adoption by the COP.
It was later agreed by the Plenary that the SBSTA bureau would consist of Hungary as Chair, Mauritius as Vice Chair and Uzbekistan as Rapporteur. The SBI bureau is chaired by Mauritania, with the Netherlands as Vice Chair and Peru as Rapporteur.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: On Thursday, 30 March 1995, the COW considered the report of the GEF to the COP (FCCC/CP/1995/4). The Secretariat introduced the document and noted that the report was divided into two sections, the development of an operational strategy and the initial activities undertaken by the GEF, including enabling activities for national communications and projects. The first section describes a two track approach. COP-1 may adopt a strategy of maximizing short-term cost effectiveness, long-term cost effectiveness, or a mixed strategy of short- and long-term priorities. The second section describes the initial activities undertaken by the GEF on climate change. The Chair noted that COP-1 had to decide between the various approaches described and that he would hold consultations on these matters.
On Friday, 31 March 1995, the Chair introduced document FCCC/CP/1995/L.1, a draft decision on the report of the GEF to the COP on the development of an operational strategy and on initial activities in the field of climate change. The Committee agreed to recommend that the COP adopt this decision, which accepts the GEF Council's two-track approach in 1995. Under track one, the GEF Secretariat will work to develop a long-term comprehensive operational strategy, and under track two, some project activities will be undertaken to allow a smooth transition between the pilot phase and the restructured GEF. The decision also includes a 'mixed strategy' wherein projects will be selected on the basis of either long-term or short-term programme priorities.
DESIGNATION OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR ITS FUNCTIONING: On Tuesday, 28 March 1995, Executive-Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar introduced the documentation on designation of a Permanent Secretariat and arrangements for its functioning (FCCC/CP/1995/5 and its three addenda). He gave particular attention to the following five areas where action is needed by the COP: institutional linkages between the Convention Secretariat and the United Nations; financial procedures; physical location of the Convention Secretariat; the Convention budget for the biennium 1996-1997; and extrabudgetary funding for 1995.
Uruguay said the Interim Secretariat's budget estimates did not reflect differences in potential operating costs based on the proposals for the location of the Permanent Secretariat, which should be taken into account. He suggested that the estimates include more than the transfer costs of locating the Permanent Secretariat, and added that he could not support the sections on Uruguay in the Interim Secretariat's documents. India was willing to adopt the indicative scale of contributions outlined in the Interim Secretariat's document and asked whether proposed consultations had occurred between the countries offering to host the Permanent Secretariat. Canada said the budget figures Uruguay mentioned had not been distributed, but should be as soon as possible.
The Executive-Secretary responded that the cost figures referred to by Uruguay appeared only in a draft document and could be improved upon in any final document. Comparisons by location of staff costs, the major element of Secretariat expenses, were based on standard UN figures, not surveys of local costs. He said he had not been informed of any consultations between countries proposing to host the Permanent Secretariat. He also noted that FCCC/CP/1995/Misc.3, a letter from Canada, was the only new information received since INC-11. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Chair announced that a drafting group, chaired by Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania) would be formed to consider the budget.
Budget: The drafting group on the budget met several times during the first week before beginning a programme-by-programme review of the budget on Friday evening. During the two-hour meeting, some OECD countries called for reductions in the budget and asked the Secretariat to provide the group with new figures on Saturday evening. The drafting group completed the first phase of its work on Monday, 4 April 1995. When El Ghaouth presented the draft decision documents to the COW the following day, he noted that some of the figures would have to be changed once the location of the Permanent Secretariat was known. The COW then recommended the following draft decisions for adoption by COP-1: the Convention budget for the biennium 1996-1997 (FCCC/CP/1995/L.4); Extrabudgetary funding for the interim secretariat for 1995 (FCCC/CP/1995/L.7); and Other voluntary funding for the biennium 1996-1997 (FCCC/CP/1995/L.8). At the suggestion of France, a footnote was added to L.4 explaining that the working capital reserve amounted to 8.3% of the operating budget, equivalent to one month's budget.
Once the decision was taken to move the Secretariat to Bonn, the drafting group on the budget met once again to revise certain figures. Although the Executive-Secretary of the Interim Secretariat noted that some costs would only be determined after further consultations with the German Government, the COP approved the Convention budget for the biennium 1996-1997, amounting to US$18,664,200.
Financial Procedures: On Friday, 31 March 1995, the Chair introduced FCCC/CP/1995/L.2, a draft decision on financial procedures for the Permanent Secretariat. The Chair also introduced document FCCC/CP/1995/ 5/Add.1/Rev.1, containing the indicative scale of contributions from Parties to the administrative budget. Delegations then asked specific questions regarding the computation of contributions and percentages. Mauritania raised the possibility of annexing the financial rules to the proposed text. Uruguay asked whether the COP would recommend suspending voting rights for Parties that do not meet their contributions. The Chair said there are no sanctions mentioned in the basic documents for non- payment of contributions. Japan joined the consensus on contributions, but added that his delegation interprets these contributions as voluntary. The Committee then agreed to recommend the adoption of L.2 to the Plenary.
FCCC/CP/1995/L.2/Rev.1, which was adopted by the Plenary at its final session, also includes a full text of the financial procedures for the COP, its subsidiary bodies and the secretariat in Annex I and the indicative scale of contributions to the administrative budget of the Convention for the biennium 1996-1997 in Annex II. It also decides that any countries becoming Parties during the remainder of 1995 shall contribute to the expenses of the Convention, and requests that all Parties be advised of their contributions no later than 22 December 1995.
Institutional Linkages: On Saturday, 1 April 1995, the Chair introduced FCCC/CP/1995/L.3 on the institutional linkages between the Permanent Secretariat and the United Nations. He summarized the decision's substantive provisions including that the Secretariat be linked but not fully integrated with UN programmes, the arrangement be reviewed by 31 December 1999, a request that the General Assembly pay conference-servicing costs for future COPs and meetings of subsidiary bodies from the UN regular programme budget, and that the Interim Secretariat inform the Secretary-General of the estimated financial implications for 1996 and 1997. The document, which was later amended to reflect recommendations received from the UN Secretary-General, was forwarded for adoption by the Plenary.
Location of the Permanent Secretariat: Amb. Estrada held consultations on the location of the Permanent Secretariat during the first week of COP-1. On Monday, 3 April 1995, Estrada reported that no consensus was yet apparent. Various means had been considered, including an informal confidential survey of delegations' preferences by secret ballot. He said the original agreement was that a decision would be taken at Berlin and preferably prior to the ministerial session, but one of the four candidate delegations disagreed. He said he recognized that the general feeling of the house was to take a decision at COP-1. Canada said its understanding was that there is no consensus on this point. The Chair said he would wait for Canada to support his proposal.
On Tuesday, Estrada proposed an 'informal survey' where each Party would indicate its preference on a piece of paper prepared for this purpose and place this paper in a box. Any paper with more than one mark or no marks would be considered invalid. If one city received the 'absolute majority' it would be proposed for a consensus solution. If not, there would be a second round with three cities and, if necessary, a third round with two cities. Estrada then noted that budget implications and the need to establish a Secretariat without doubts about administrative arrangements made a decision imperative.
Canada disagreed that this was the appropriate time to decide. He said that INC-11's intent was for COP-1 to select a candidate city only if there was consensus. He urged delegates to consider using the survey later at a neutral site. Switzerland said it was not the time politically to pursue these consultations and that it would also be a bad UN precedent. The decision should be made on neutral ground, possibly at the CSD meeting in New York. The US said he was persuaded by the Canadian and Swiss concerns.
Italy, supported by Poland, said he was impressed by the Chair's suggestion, and that Article 8.3 of the Convention says COP-1 should designate a Permanent Secretariat. Germany said now is an appropriate time to take a decision. Nigeria, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Mali, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo, Cape Verde, Niger, Mauritius and Djibouti supported the Chair's proposal. Burkina Faso said that COP-1 should take the decision, but the question should be put before the Ministerial Segment.
Canada said Article 8.3 did not require COP-1 to decide on the location. He called for a substantive discussion, including budget figures comparing costs for the four locations. The Chair said the figures had been presented in consultations on the Convention budget, and participating delegations have had an opportunity to review them. The Chair said deferring the decision by a few weeks would be expensive and complicated. He said it was the feeling of the house that delegates should proceed, notwithstanding the reluctance of two candidates and some other delegations. He emphasized that the survey was not a decision or a vote.
Canada said that regardless of what it was called, the Chair was proposing a decision mechanism by majority vote. Canada noted his country's offer to contribute an additional $1 million (Canadian) for five years to the Secretariat budget. Canada also distributed budget figures for staff and travel that showed Toronto costs to be 54% of Geneva, 67% of Montevideo and 70% of Bonn for 1996-1997. Switzerland said he was pleased to see his supporters backing a quick decision and that there was progress on the Chair's proposal. The US said it would not hold up progress. Uruguay agreed that a decision should be made at Berlin.
The first round of the survey was completed at 4:00 pm on Tuesday. No city received a majority and Uruguay withdrew its offer to host the Secretariat in Montevideo. The second round of the survey was completed at 7:00 pm that evening. When all of the secret ballots were counted there was still no majority and Estrada announced that the third round would take place on Wednesday and the choice would be between Bonn and Geneva. Canada then withdrew its offer to host the Secretariat in Toronto. On Wednesday afternoon the tension built and the press gathered. Finally, Estrada announced that the Parties participating in the informal survey had selected Bonn as the seat of the Permanent Secretariat. The COW adopted decision FCCC/CP/1995/L.12 on the location of the Permanent Secretariat in Bonn on Thursday night, 6 April 1995.
TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY: On Friday, 31 March 1995, the Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, introduced a draft decision on technology transfer that asked the Secretariat to compile an itemized report on technology transfer activities of Annex II Parties, directed the Secretariat to prepare an inventory of potentially transferable technologies, and requested that all measures be reviewed and evaluated at subsequent COPs.
The Chair asked the G-77 and other delegations to consult among themselves and report back to the COW. On Tuesday, the G-77 and China's revised draft decision on technology transfer was distributed. The Republic of Korea, on behalf of the G-77 and China, noted that after consultations with other groups only three sets of brackets remained in the document. During the discussion that followed, the Chair tried to facilitate consensus on the remaining bracketed text. The US, supported by New Zealand, thought further substantive discussion was necessary. He asked if this decision had to set the agendas for all future COPs in paragraph 3(a) and who would provide the advice to improve the operational modalities for the effective transfer of technology in paragraph 3(b). Nevertheless, the Chair noted that the discussion must come to an end, closed the debate and suggested that the Committee adopt the text, as orally amended. Despite protestations by the US that its concerns had not been addressed, the Chair gavelled this matter to a close. The COW formally adopted the text of FCCC/CP/1995/L.10 on Thursday night, 6 April 1995.
[Return to start of article]