On 11-12 December, the AGBM discussed Agenda Item 5, possible features of a protocol or another legal instrument. The synthesis document (FCCC/AGBM/1996/10) highlights several issues, including: the form and scope of the instrument; communication and review of information and commitments; annexes; voluntary application of commitments by non-Annex I Parties; institutions and institutional support; dispute settlement and compliance; and action after COP-3.
FORM AND SCOPE OF THE INSTRUMENT: The EU supported a protocol to build on FCCC commitments and objectives and give the Berlin Mandate quantified targets and timetables. He said the EUs proposed protocol meets these requirements and can evolve over time. SWITZERLAND and CHILE also favored a protocol. The G- 77/CHINA, supported by VENEZUELA, NIGERIA, INDIA, SAUDI ARABIA, MEXICO, GAMBIA, MALAYSIA and MOROCCO, stressed that the instrument should not deviate from the Berlin Mandate. SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, noted that the structure and language of the AOSIS draft protocol accords with the Convention. SENEGAL, the MARSHALL ISLANDS, the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, the PHILIPPINES and HONDURAS specifically supported the AOSIS draft protocol. A number of countries, such as the US, NEW ZEALAND and SAUDI ARABIA said that the substance of the instrument should determine its form and possible features.
COMMUNICATION AND REVIEW OF INFORMATION: The EU stated that its protocol proposal includes differing timetables for national communications by Annex I and non-Annex I Parties and progressive enhancement of commitments. The US urged a strengthening of national and international mechanisms for the review of information on implementation. The G-77/CHINA noted that the preamble of the Berlin Mandate focuses on review of commitments under Articles 4.2(a) and (b), stating that the scope of the new instrument should include P&Ms, QELROs and continuing commitments under Article 4.1. CANADA said that reporting should take place within specified time frames and be addressed by the SBI. The US also supported a time frame for reviewing and updating commitments.
ANNEXES: A number of views were expressed on possible annexes to the instrument. The US did not see a need for annexes on P&Ms. CANADA favored an annex describing commitments clearly in order to facilitate their rapid adjustment. CHILE stated that a differentiation of commitments should be made clear in the body of the protocol rather than in an annex, and said an annex could cover quantification. MALAYSIA called for annexes with provisions to ensure the commitments of Article 4.1 and regular review of these provisions. NIGERIA opposed the establishment of any new annexes that create a new category of Parties.
VOLUNTARY APPLICATION OF COMMITMENTS FOR NON-ANNEX I PARTIES: NIGERIA, IRAN, SENEGAL and MOROCCO opposed new commitments for non-Annex I Parties. The US and NEW ZEALAND stated that they would not object to voluntary commitments from non-Annex I Parties. The US also suggested providing non-Parties with positive incentives to join the regime. AUSTRALIA called for the review process to account for factors such as those considered in setting commitments, new scientific information and changes in circumstances. IRAN called for an analysis of socio-economic impacts on developing countries before judging the adequacy of commitments. CHILE emphasized that the fulfillment of any additional commitments by the developing world depends on Annex I countries abiding by their commitments. SENEGAL noted that African countries have already made serious sacrifices to apply the FCCC but lack sufficient resources. HONDURAS stressed that the efforts made by developing countries are as important as those of Annex I countries.
INSTITUTIONS: The EU, the G-77/CHINA, VENEZUELA, SWITZERLAND, the US, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SAUDI ARABIA and MALAYSIA stated a preference for economy of institutions such as use of the same COP, SBSTA and Secretariat. INDIA and CANADA also favored drawing heavily from existing institutions. SWITZERLAND suggested that Parties to the Convention and Parties to the protocol should hold meetings in conjunction, but the US and NEW ZEALAND specified that only Parties to the protocol should take decisions on it. MOROCCO noted that financial resources should be provided for any institutions that will service the instrument.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT AND COMPLIANCE: The EU noted that its protocol proposal includes establishment of a multilateral consultative process (MCP) for both review of compliance and dispute settlement under the FCCC. INDIA noted that when a non-Annex I Party or its policies are affected by Annex I country actions, such as when intellectual property rights affect terms of trade, those actions should be considered under Article 13 (MCP) rather than Article 14 (dispute resolution). SWITZERLAND favored the establishment of a process to assess compliance with the protocol. KUWAIT called for an examination of the connection between the proposed protocol and the work of AG13. CANADA said that the linkage to Article 13 must be reviewed. The US advocated a clear structure for commitments and for objectively measurable targets.
PREPARATION OF A SYNTHESIS DOCUMENT: CHINA, supported by INDIA, SRI LANKA, VENEZUELA, MOROCCO, CHILE, SAMOA, GAMBIA, GHANA and JAPAN, requested a compilation synthesis of all proposals to be distributed in January. CHINA and INDIA requested that the sources of the proposals be noted in the compilation. SIERRA LEONE said a draft text for a protocol should be available in time for AGBM-6. GHANA, SENEGAL and VENEZUELA noted that time is needed for additional suggestions for the compilation and, with SRI LANKA and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, called for a framework compilation to circulate to capitals before AGBM-6. SAUDI ARABIA cautioned that this process should not preclude submissions at a later stage. CHILE noted that a text would encourage signs of political will to compromise in a new negotiation phase. The EU reiterated its request to include elements from its proposal in the synthesis.
Delegations also commented on a number of other points. NIGERIA noted the needs of African countries and called for the inclusion of paragraphs on economic damage to non- Annex I countries from actions by Annex I Parties. IRAN and BURKINA FASO called for language on technology transfer and provision of financial resources in the new legal instrument. NEW ZEALAND commented that the new instrument should pave the way for future global action, but MOROCCO and SAUDI ARABIA stated that action after COP-3 exceeds the Berlin Mandate. KUWAIT also noted that the rules of procedure for the FCCC are still not adopted, which may affect the outcome of the AGBM process.
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