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Initially Article 3 was entirely bracketed, with an additional 12 sets of brackets within the article. By the conclusion of the session, delegates reached agreement on the contents of the article. The US insisted on retaining the brackets around the entire article, since it is opposed to such an article in this Convention. The article now lists five principles to guide the Parties in implementing the Convention: the sovereign right of nations to exploit their own resources; the participation of local communities in the design and implementation of programmes to combat desertification; cooperation and coordination at the sub-regional, regional and international levels; cooperation among all levels of government, communities, NGOs and landholders; and the special needs of affected developing countries.


ARTICLE 4 -- GENERAL OBLIGATIONS: Two sub-paragraphs in this article were bracketed at the beginning of the session. The first one addressed the need to establish an enabling international economic environment. Developing countries had originally wanted a full list of obligations, including mitigating the impact of external debt, improving market conditions, reducing the effects of exchange rate variations, and devising pricing and trade policies. The Chair proposed new text that was more general in nature and, thus, acceptable to all Parties. It now reads, "give due attention...to the situation of affected developing countries with regard to international trade, marketing arrangements and debt, with a view to establishing an enabling international economic environment...." The other paragraph, which addresses the need for new and additional financial resources, remains bracketed. [Return to start of article]