The Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG-13) met for its second session. Article 13 calls on the COP to consider the establishment of a multilateral consultative process (MCP) available to Parties to resolve questions on implementation.
PANEL PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION: AG-13 Chair Patrick Szell (UK) convened a Panel Presentation and Discussion on MCPs on Tuesday, 9 July. Presentations on MCPs were made by representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on ILO conventions, the World Trade Organisation on the GATT, the International Instruments Branch of the Centre for Human Rights on compliance with human rights conventions, the Implementation Committee of the Montreal Protocol, and the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and Disposal, on a dispute resolution mechanism still under development.
The Chairs Report of the meeting summarized lessons learned from other procedures as follows: most procedures set forth have evolved over time as a result of experience and political expediency; internal procedures and approaches are complementary; dispute resolution with States is usually cooperative, intended to facilitate implementation rather than to punish; all but the WTO MCP are multilateral processes; a clear structure with a standing committee is desirable; some procedures require publication of reports as a mechanism to publicize non-compliance; and some procedures allow for stronger compliance measures.
Following these presentations, a group of NGOs presented the results of a study of successful MCPs, as well as responses to a questionnaire sent out by AG-13 following its first session to Parties, non-Parties, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. The study and survey results highlighted the following desirable elements of a MCP: transparent and non-confrontational operation; accurate and full reporting of data; a role for NGOs in filing submissions on non-compliance; cooperative and non-judicial mechanisms; provision of technical assistance to States to facilitate compliance, including capacity building, country studies and national compliance supervision; linkage to other articles of the FCCC; and assurance of the sovereignty of States over their national compliance procedures.
SECOND SESSION OF AG-13: Following the Panel Presentation and Discussion, the second session of AG-13 met to formally discuss a MCP for the FCCC. Participants received a synthesis of responses to a questionnaire on establishing a MCP under Article 13 (FCCC/AG13/1996/1) to be considered at the Groups December session. The EU regretted that substantive discussions were postponed until December. He recommended a draft decision extending the AG-13 mandate to COP-3 and a role in examining ways to apply a MCP to a protocol in cooperation with AGBM. The Chair recommended draft decisions on the continuation of AG-13 and to report results to COP- 3. The Chair accepted a Saudi Arabian proposal to replace a reference to the possible design of a MCP with one on reporting to the COP as instructed. The meeting adopted the draft decision.
The meeting then adopted the Chairs draft text on linkages between AG-13 and AGBM, as amended by the US and SOUTH AFRICA, asking the COP to decide that the AGBM may, in its consideration of a MCP, seek such advice as may be deemed necessary from AG-13.
Both of these draft decisions were incorporated into the Report of AG-13 (FCCC/CP/1996/L.1) and adopted by the COP.
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