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The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the elaboration of an international convention to combat desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (INCD), is a product of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. While the idea of a convention to combat desertification had been discussed throughout the UNCED preparatory process it was only in Rio where language was adopted, requesting the United Nations General Assembly to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee for the purpose of negotiating the convention.

The General Assembly, during its 47th Session in 1992, adopted a series of decisions that dealt with follow-up to the Rio Summit, including resolution 47/188 calling for the establishment of the INCD with a view to finalizing a convention by June 1994. This resolution, among other things, decided that there would be one organizational session and five substantive sessions of the INCD; the UN Secretary-General would establish an expert group to advise the ICPD Secretariat on technical matters related to desertification; and the INCD would establish a special voluntary fund to ensure developing country participation in the negotiation process.

The organizational session of the INCD was held from 26 - 29 January 1993 at UN Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the session was to adopt the rules of procedure and schedule of meetings, elect the officers of the Committee, establish the two working groups, agree on the agenda for the first substantive session and discuss the financial aspects of the process. At this meeting Ambassador Bo Kjell‚n of Sweden was elected Chair of the Committee and Ambassadors Ren‚ Val‚ry Mongbe (Benin), T.P. Sreenivasan (India) and Jos‚ Urrutia (Peru) were elected to the Bureau. [Return to start of article]