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PLENARY: The focus of discussion shifts today as general debate begins on Agenda Item 4, "Elaboration of an international convention to combat desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa" and participants have their first opportunity to speak about the Convention and, specifically, the document prepared by the Secretariat, "Format and possible elements of the Convention" (A/AC.241/7).

The first speaker of the morning will be UNEP Executive Director Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who has recorded a welcoming statement. She will be followed by Prof. G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, and Robert T. N'Daw, Assistant Director-General of FAO. Arba Diallo, Executive Secretary of the INCD, will give his opening statement, followed by Peter Branner, Director of UNSO. INCD Chair Bo Kjell‚n will speak, possibly summing up the proceedings of last week's information sharing segment and setting the course of work for the week ahead. Ministers from Cape Verde and Kazakhstan are also expected to speak before the floor is opened for general debate. Those who wish to inscribe themselves to the list of speakers should do so before 1:00 pm today.