The Chair stated that the SBSTA was expected to develop recommendations on the preparation of guidelines for national communications from non-Annex I Parties. He asked delegates to consider both the G-77 and China approach paper, contained in A/AC.237/Misc.40, and the submission made by the UK, contained in document FCCC/SB/1995/Misc.1. He noted that the elaboration of guidelines should start as early as possible because a number of non-Annex I Parties had to submit their first national communications in 1997.
The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that there were diverse capacities within developing countries regarding technology and finances. She said that the submission of non-Annex I Parties' communications was contingent upon fulfillment of Article 4 of the FCCC. She proposed a two-stage approach for the preparation of guidelines and noted that the reference to "national reporting" in the UK submission should be altered to "national communications."
SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the guidelines for non-Annex I Parties communications should be flexible so as to take into account the wide diversity among developing countries. He said that this should be a priority item because some developing countries were in the process of approaching the GEF for funds. He requested the Secretariat to develop specific proposals on guidelines for consideration at SBSTA 2.
MALAYSIA requested the Secretariat to prepare possible "guidelines" at SBSTA 2 and a document identifying the technical difficulties faced by developing countries in preparing their first communications. CHINA said that initial communications from non-Annex I Parties were contingent upon Annex I Parties fulfilling their financial and technological commitments under the FCCC. He said that the modalities and coverage for Annex I Parties do not apply to non-Annex I Parties. He added that he was "shocked" to see studies on methane emissions in China and India that were not based on field work in these countries. He welcomed bilateral and multilateral assistance in preparing national communications in the spirit of North-South partnership.
The Chair reminded delegates yet again that time was a "precious resource" and asked them to focus on specific procedural matters. BENIN said that guidelines should be prepared as soon as possible, adding that workshops could be held to facilitate the preparation of these guidelines. URUGUAY, noting that the responsibility for anthropogenic emissions did not rest with developing countries, suggested that this issue be considered by SBSTA 2. The US said that there was benefit to seeking compatible approaches between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. He concurred with the need to meet the "agreed full costs" of preparing first national communications from non-Annex I Parties.
AUSTRALIA, supporting the EU on the preparation of guidelines, said that the national communications of all Parties was central to the FCCC and that the development of guidelines should be undertaken in a timely fashion. She stated that the GEF mechanism included provisions for the preparation of national communications. NIGERIA said that modalities, training and funds for preparing non-Annex I Parties' national communications needed to be addressed. BRAZIL said that basis for the Secretariat's work on guidelines could be found in the approach paper submitted by the G-77 and China. He suggested that the format should be flexible and allow for "the agreed full costs" to be met by the GEF. INDIA said that there was no substitute for countries conducting their own inventories and funds should be provided accordingly. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, endorsed the preparation of guidelines for consideration by SBSTA.
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