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The fifth session of the INCD will meet in Paris from 6-17 June 1994. Since the mandate for the two working groups expired at the end of INCD-4, the organization of work at the fifth session will be more flexible, based on the specific outstanding issues. There will be facilities for two major meetings with full interpretation throughout the session, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters. According to a note by the Chair distributed on 31 March 1994, meetings of the Plenary will be held as required to negotiate outstanding points at that level, particularly during the second week of the session. In order to finalize negotiation on as wide a range of issues as possible during the first week, informal working groups (meeting in large rooms with full interpretation) will be established under the chairmanship of coordinators. These coordinators will be appointed by the Chair after consultation with the Bureau. The Chairs of Working Groups I and II, Ahmed Djoghlaf and Anne de Lattre, will likely be asked to take on various negotiating tasks. One informal working group, possibly under the chairmanship of Anne de Lattre, will deal with regional annexes. Consultations on financial resources and mechanisms, coordinated by Pierre-Marc Johnson and Bolong Sonko, will also continue.

In addition to completing the text of the Convention and the regional annexes, the Committee will also have to address the drafting of resolutions on the interim period and the need to ensure urgent action for African drylands. The purpose of the decisions on interim arrangements is to enable preparatory work for the implementation of the Convention to go on without waiting for its formal entry into force. In a note by the Chair (A/AC.241/CRP.9), it is suggested that the INCD follow the same approach adopted by the Convention on Climate Change, since its INC was also established through a UN General Assembly resolution.

There is also a need to ensure urgent action for African drylands. The resolution establishing the INCD (47/188) ensured that priority attention will be given to Africa. This was originally going to be accomplished through the negotiation of a regional annex for Africa. However, now that it appears as though three annexes will be adopted along with the main Convention (Africa, Asia and Latin America), the priority for Africa has been diminished. One way to fulfill this mandate is to adopt a resolution that calls for early implementation of the provisions of the Convention with regard to Africa.

There will also be consultations on organizational and technical details, such as the manner in which the INCD will conclude its work and when and how the Convention will be opened for signature.

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