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Delegates provided general comments and then proceeded to inundate the Chair of Working Group II with specific proposals and amendments. Some delegates expressed frustration with the method of work, noting the difficulties in following the enormous number of amendments that were being tabled. The Chair responded that the Secretariat would consolidate all written proposals into a new draft to serve as the basis for discussion.

ZERO, on behalf of NGOs, proposed the following re- organization of the text: purpose, special situation of Africa, timetable for progress, content of a regional programme, organization and framework of the regional programme, financial and technical cooperation, and coordination and partnership agreements.

ARTICLE 2 -- PARTICULAR CONDITIONS OF THE AFRICAN REGION: The US wanted to: delete the reference to "increasingly" in sub-paragraph (b), which refers to the frequent recurrence of severe drought; delete "deteriorating" in the reference to terms of trade in sub-paragraph (e); and merge sub-paragraphs (d) and (h), which deal with widespread poverty and the need for concessional assistance, respectively. Benin proposed that sub-paragraph (h) read: "The need of affected countries for significant amounts of concessional external assistance in the forms of grants, subsidies and favorable loans to allow them to pursue development objectives.

ARTICLE 3 -- TIMETABLE FOR PREPARATION: The EU requested deletion of this article. The UK objected to the wording suggested by the US specifying the timetable for the preparation of action programmes, and pointed out that any reference to a specific timetable must be flexibly worded.

ARTICLE 4 -- STRATEGIC PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The US suggested the addition of a second paragraph: "A consultative and participatory process involving all levels of government, bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies, NGOs and local communities will be undertaken to provide guidance regarding strategy."

ARTICLE 5 -- PREPARATION AND FORMAT OF NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: The EU suggested the deletion of sub-paragraphs (a) (the designation of a national entity) and (h) (partnership agreements), since both reflected a top-down approach.

ARTICLE 6 -- CONTENT OF NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Benin proposed the reversal of paragraphs 2 and 4. Saudi Arabia reiterated its opposition to sub-paragraph 4(e), which refers to alternative energy sources.

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