The first substantive round in the post-UNCED forest debate was the renegotiation of the 1983 International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), a process which began in the fall of 1992. The main issues in the renegotiation were whether the scope of the ITTA should be broadened to apply to timber originating not only from tropical but from all types of forests; whether the ITTO Council's non-binding commitment to achieve trade in tropical timber exclusively from sustainably managed forests by the year 2000 should be elevated into the text of the ITTA; and whether a formal commitment could be secured from consumer countries to provide more funds to assist producer countries in attaining sustainable forest management. The debate over broadening the scope of the ITTA grew contentious and dominated the negotiations, which lasted 18 months. Producer countries and NGOs supported broadening the ITTA and contended that it did not make sense in the post-UNCED era to maintain the agreement's original, narrow focus when the bulk of the timber trade was actually of temperate-country origin. Consumer (mostly temperate) countries opposed the idea and proposed a separate, non-binding "Consumer Statement" pledging that they would attain sustainable forest management in their own countries by the year 2000. In the end, the ITTA was renegotiated with little change. On 26 January 1994 the Successor Agreement to the International Tropical Timber Agreement was adopted. The Agreement was opened for signature on 1 April 1994.
Apart from the renegotiation process, the issue of timber certification has been the focus of increasing debate within the ITTO at its regular, semi-annual Council meetings. ITTO consultants have developed reports on certification and the Council has held special working group meetings. The primary issue of debate seems to be what role, if any, the ITTO should play in the certification arena, with the positions of ITTO member countries, and of ITTO staff ranging widely from no role at all to the ITTO actually doing certification. The debate is expected to continue at the Council's next meeting in Accra, Ghana, in May 1995.