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Working Group I completed its second reading of the text before adjourning early so that the G-77 could meet.

ARTICLE 4 -- GENERAL OBLIGATIONS: The Chair proposed new language for paragraph 2(b), which was based on paragraph 2.3 of Agenda 21: "give due attention, within the relevant global and regional bodies, to the situation of affected developing countries with regard to international trade, marketing arrangements and debt, with the view of establishing an enabling international economic environment conducive to the promotion of sustainable development." Delegates will discuss this proposal during the next reading.

ARTICLE 5 -- OBLIGATIONS OF AFFECTED COUNTRY PARTIES: Delegates agreed to remove the brackets around paragraph 2, which states that affected developed country Parties are not entitled to receive financial assistance under this Convention.

ARTICLE 6 -- OBLIGATIONS OF DEVELOPED COUNTRY PARTIES [AND OTHER PARTIES IN A POSITION TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE]: The G-77 and China restated their objection to the use of the phrase "and other Parties in a position to provide assistance." The EU, supported by the US, said that it could not accept deletion of this bracketed phrase, and proposed deletion of sub-paragraph (c) on 0.7% of GNP for ODA. Nothing was resolved.

ARTICLE 7 -- PRIORITY TO AFRICA: At the first reading, the G-77 and China proposed a new sentence on ensuring the provision of financial assistance. Japan and the US asked for its deletion. The G-77 and China argued that this sentence strengthens the entire article. It remains bracketed.

ARTICLE 8 -- RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS: The brackets around the first paragraph on coordination with the activities of other relevant conventions were deleted. The Chair noted that the second paragraph (not affecting the rights and obligations of any Party under agreements entered before this Convention enters into force) was not necessary since it is universally accepted international law. The paragraph was deleted, however, later in the day Nigeria requested that it be retained and the paragraph is still in brackets.

ARTICLE 9 -- BASIC APPROACH (ACTION PROGRAMMES): At the first reading, the EU proposed an alternative for paragraph 1 (development of national action programmes). The US and Kenya still had some questions about this proposal and both alternatives remain in brackets.

ARTICLES 12 AND 13 -- SUB-REGIONAL AND REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: At the first reading, China proposed a replacement for both of these articles that refers to regional implementation annexes. Mali and Benin said that this proposal is problematic because of the need to distinguish between sub-regional and regional programmes. Both versions of Article 12 and Article 13 remain in brackets.

ARTICLE 14 -- MEASURES TO MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT: The bracketed text (food aid) was deleted from sub-paragraph (c). The second version of sub-paragraph (d) (establish alternative livelihood projects) was retained. The brackets around sub-paragraph (e) (irrigation programmes) were removed, however, the brackets around the Saudi proposal for cloud seeding in sub-paragraph (f) remain.

ARTICLE 14 BIS -- INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: The brackets remain, even though the EU and Canada called for its deletion since international cooperation is spelled out throughout the Convention.

ARTICLE 15 -- SUPPORT FOR THE ELABORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION PROGRAMMES: Canada suggested that this article should be part of Articles 22 and 23. Sweden pointed out that the group on financial resources is trying to determine if all the financial provisions should be in Articles 22 and 23 or throughout the text.

ARTICLE 16 -- COORDINATION IN THE ELABORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION PROGRAMMES: Brazil, India, Bolivia, Iran, Canada and Malaysia called for the deletion of paragraph 3 since monitoring is one of the tasks of the COP. The US suggested deleting the first sentence, which refers to monitoring, and appending the second sentence to paragraph 2. The sentence, as amended by Malaysia, reads: "...priority will be given to coordinating activities related to international cooperation to maximize efficient use of resources and better facilitate the implementation of national plans and priorities pursuant to the Convention."

ARTICLE 21 -- CAPACITY BUILDING, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: The brackets were initially deleted from sub-paragraph 1(f) on training in the use of alternative energy sources. Then Saudi Arabia arrived and proposed alternative text. Cameroon and the EU did not accept the Saudi proposal, so the Saudis reinstated the brackets around the original language. All three versions of paragraph 4, on education and training centres, remain in brackets.


Working Group II completed its first reading of the African Annex and second reading of Articles 1, 26 and 27 of the Convention. In response to delegates' frustration on Thursday afternoon, the Chair proposed a new procedure for work on the implementation annex for Africa. She requested that the African Group provide the unofficial OAU document, Implementation Annex for Africa (OAU/INC-D/REV.II), as a basis for informal discussions, and then resume discussion of the Secretariat's text (A/AC.241/19) on Monday afternoon. Canada supported this strategy, but Mauritania disagreed. At the suggestion of Gambia, the Working Group adjourned briefly in order for the Africans to consult. Thereafter, the Africans expressed their preference to table their amendments during the reading of the Secretariat's text. De Lattre conceded on the understanding that a Contact Group be established to produce new text over the weekend.

ARTICLE 7 -- ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF SUB-REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Cameroon said that the Central African sub-region was omitted in paragraph 1. The EU proposed new text for sub-paragraphs 2(b) and (c) and the deletion of sub-paragraph (e).

ARTICLE 8 -- PREPARATION AND FORMAT OF SUB-REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Egypt suggested that the article be deleted, but Mauritania objected, saying the text was drafted by the African States. The EU and African Group proposed new text for sub-paragraphs (b) and (c), respectively, regarding the evaluation process and seeking guidance from Agenda 21. The US said sub-paragraph (g), calling for the development of joint action programmes, should be deleted, while the African Group wanted paragraph 2, which outlines the contents of the programmes, deleted as this is covered elsewhere. The US, however, wanted sub-paragraphs 2(c) to 2(f), dealing with issues of strategy, measures, assessment and coordination mechanisms, retained.

ARTICLE 9 -- CONTENT OF SUB-REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: The African Group proposed a new chapeau, outlining the areas of focus, with the priority areas of Article 9 to be listed as sub-paragraphs (a) to (h). The EU also proposed new text for paragraphs (e),(f) and (g).

ARTICLES 10 (ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES), 11 (CONTENT OF THE REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMME) AND 12 (STRENGTHENING OF UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS): Canada proposed the deletion of these articles since 10 and 11 are hierarchical and superfluous, while 12 does not belong here. The EU concurred with regard to Articles 10 and 11, paragraph (b)(i), (ii), (iii) and (c)(iii). The African Group proposed a new formulation for Article 10 paragraph 2, calling for financial support for the OAU by the COP, and Article 12.

ARTICLE 13 -- FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION: Benin suggested that the entire article be divided into three separate articles on financial resources, financial mechanisms and technical cooperation.

Paragraph 1: ZERO, on behalf of the NGOs, said that resources must be mobilized at the community level. This position was endorsed by Canada, who proposed that the Parties establish National Desertification Trust Funds in affected countries needing assistance, involving national governments, donors and NGOs. The EU suggested the deletion of paragraph 2 and proposed alternative text for paragraph 3, regarding the impact of the Convention of all financial and technical cooperation programmes. Benin objected to the EU text and proposed alternative text that stipulates the necessary measures to be undertaken by Parties. Benin said that paragraph 5 should form part of a new article on financial mechanisms. The EU suggested deleting paragraph 6. Benin said that it should become the new article on financial resources.

ARTICLE 14 -- COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: Benin suggested that the article be divided into two because it contains two separate ideas. He suggested that paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 should be merged into an article on coordination and partnership agreements and that paragraph 4 should be titled "Follow-up mechanisms." Benin also requested the inclusion of a specific article on technology transfer. The EU then suggested a change to paragraph 1 regarding collaboration between affected African Parties and developed country Parties. The EU also proposed new text for paragraph 2 that calls for cooperation to maximize efficient resource use. Benin preferred the original text. Delegates agreed to delete paragraph 4.

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