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The group met in the morning for its third session to review Sections I to IIIE of Communication of Information and Review of Implementation (A/AC.241/39).

Objectives and criteria: Benin, supported by the UK and Canada, suggested using "easy access" instead of "transparent" in Paragraph 9(c). Uzbekistan, supported by the Netherlands and Iran, noted that unlike in other environmental conventions there is a distinction between affected and unaffected countries and this must affect information sharing. Canada, supported by the Netherlands and Spain, noted the need for standardization of communications and the importance of including analysis.

Communciation from Parties: Kazakhstan suggested issuing a bulletin based on the communication.

Other review materials: Benin, supported by the UK and Israel, said that excerpts suggested in Paragraph 12 are undesirable and summaries are preferred. Benin also noted that in Paragraph 14(b), modalities of the GM, the INCD has to prepare a draft text for adoption at COP-1. The UK, supported by Germany, suggested the deletion of paragraph 13 because it is undesirable to evaluate activities of sovereign States. He applied the same argument to Paragraph 14, on reviews by the CST. Israel, supported by Germany, suggested that the Parties themselves should provide summaries.

Guidelines for review materials: Benin suggested that the Secretariat should prepare a reporting manual for review by the Working Group and adoption at COP-1. He expressed concern for the developing countries who need hardware and software to be able to transfer quantitative data. On Paragraph 21, indicators and financial flows, the UK suggested that the Secretariat should compile work on already devised indicators. Regarding the financial flows, the Secretariat could contact OECD, which has worked on identifying such flows.

Timing of communication: Regarding Paragraph 23, Benin, supported by the UK and Portugal, suggested that reports should be presented every two or four years. China preferred two years. On Paragraph 24, rotation of communications, Benin, supported by the UK, Israel and Peru, noted that it is important to combine reporting from affected and non-affected countries. The UK suggested 20 reports as the limit for consideration at one meeting. Australia suggested spreading the reporting over the year. The UK, supported by Israel, expressed concern that the COP would face stacks of communication. Israel requested that the Secretariat prepare proposal formats for consideration at INCD-8.

The NGO network RIOD, commenting on the document as a whole, emphasized the importance of NGO participation and contribution to the whole process of communication of information. RIOD offered to prepare a list of NGOs worldwide with relevant expertise, which could be used by the Secretariat to serve on the Committees.

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