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This entire article remains bracketed. Developing countries argued that since both the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions contain principles they should be retained here as well. Developed countries, particularly the US and the UK, were opposed to this article because of the legal ambiguity. Furthermore, they did not think that there should be any mention of the Rio Declaration since this is a non-legally binding instrument and, as such, should not be included in a legally-binding convention. Brazil and other developing countries affirmed the importance of this article.


ARTICLE 4 -- GENERAL OBLIGATIONS: This article contains a list of general obligations of the Parties under the Convention. Several provisions were bracketed, including references to trade, marketing arrangements, debt and poverty eradication. Mali, Cameroon and Argentina requested that the brackets be removed since these issues should be integral to this Convention. The US and the EU insisted that this Convention should be focused on desertification and that references to trade and debt should be removed. The UK maintained that if the Convention is turned into a "receptacle" for economic, political and development objectives, it will be more difficult to convince authorities that this Convention will be effective in combatting desertification. Japan, the US, Belgium, Norway and Sweden supported this view.

Two sub-paragraphs remain bracketed. The second part of 2(b) refers to an enabling international economic environment for the promotion of sustainable development in affected developing countries, including debt, market conditions and pricing and trade policies. Sub-paragraph 2(h), which mentions the provision of new and additional financial resources, remains bracketed at the insistence of developed countries. [Return to start of article]