On 3 March, AGBM Chair Ra�l Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina) noted the considerable number of new proposals and called for long-term sustained efforts from industrialized countries. He said changes would be neither easy nor inexpensive, but added that the costs resulting from inaction far outweigh the costs of preventative measures. He also welcomed Dan Reifsnyder (US) as rapporteur.
FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar noted that AGBM-6 marks the last session prior to the six-month deadline for circulating a draft protocol. The negotiating text must "contain the seeds" of the final outcome and there should be no surprises after 1 June 1997.
The secretariat introduced the documentation for the session: "Framework Compilation of Proposals" (FCCC/AGBM/1997/2 and Add. 1); "Implementation of the Berlin Mandate: proposal from Parties" (FCCC/AGBM/ 1997/Misc.1) and "Comments from Parties" (FCCC/AGBM/ 1997/Misc.2). Regarding the organization of work, the Chair urged delegates to produce, elaborate on and streamline a negotiating text to be ready by 1 June. He proposed establishing two "non-groups" a term coined by the Chair to describe informal discussion groups with a mandate of "streamlining" certain parts of the text contained in the Framework Compilation. One non-group was to focus on institutions and processes, final elements, definitions and the preamble. The other non-group was to work on continuing to advance commitments in Article 4.1. He said the main purpose of the non-groups is to exchange views, rather than negotiate, and to merge different proposals into one text in order to facilitate adoption of a negotiating text.
The WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES appealed to delegates to act now and noted that delayed action will involve even higher demands. He said climate change is an issue of global justice and called on the AGBM to promote lifestyle changes in developed countries. CHINA, IRAN and MOROCCO, on behalf of the African Group, requested clarification on the division of tasks between non-groups and asked whether the non-groups would address policies and measures (P&Ms) and quantified emissions limitation and reduction objectives within specified time frames (QELROs). The G-77/CHINA, supported by the EU, MALAYSIA and the AFRICAN GROUP, urged that only a limited number of additional groups be established, given the constraints facing small delegations. CHINA also cautioned the AGBM not to "waste time" on issues related to institutions and definitions. The Chair responded that P&Ms and QELROs would be addressed in Plenary and noted the value of institutions and legal systems.
The EU urged countries to provide input in legal language and streamline the Framework Compilation by focusing on achievable options. The EU also suggested that the Chair develop a protocol or other legal instrument by 1 June, if the AGBM does not complete this work by the end of the week. IRAN said the EU proposal was premature and SAUDI ARABIA urged that the AGBM complete a negotiating text and not leave work for the Chair. The Chair reminded delegates that the non- groups would be open only to Parties and would not involve negotiation.
Meetings were scheduled so that no more than two meetings took place at any one time. The non-groups reported back to Plenary, which adopted their reports as a basis for the negotiating text at AGBM-7. The non-group on institutions, mechanisms and any other clauses was chaired by Takao Shibata (Japan). The non-group on elements related to continuing to advance the implementation of existing commitments in Article 4.1 was chaired Evans King (Trinidad and Tobago).
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