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SIXTH SESSION: The sixth session of the INCD was held at UN Headquarters in New York from 9-18 January 1995. While this session was mostly organizational, it served two important purposes. First, the Committee reached agreement on the work programme for the interim period and the mandates of the two working groups and the Plenary. Second, it alerted delegates, the Bureau and the Interim Secretariat to some of the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges include: reaffirming the equal status of the Convention with other environmental conventions; implementation of the resolution on urgent action for Africa; raising awareness; popular participation; preparation for the first Conference of the Parties (COP); scientific and technical cooperation during the interim period; and funding.

SEVENTH SESSION: The seventh session of the INCD was held in Nairobi from 7-17 August 1995. Delegates reviewed the status of ratification and implementation of the resolution on Urgent Action for Africa, as well as actions in other regions. The Working Groups also began their work. Working Group I, chaired by Mourad Ahmia (Algeria), addressed four issues: identification of an organization to house the Global Mechanism; designation of a permanent secretariat and arrangements for its functioning; draft financial rules of the COP, its subsidiary bodies and the Permanent Secretariat; and programme and budget. Working Group II, chaired by Takao Shibata (Japan), addressed: organization of scientific and technical cooperation; draft Rules of Procedure for the Conference of the Parties; and procedures for communication of information and review of implementation. There was also some debate about the periodicity and length of future sessions of the INCD. Some developed countries did not think that the INCD needed to meet twice a year for two weeks at a time. Others felt that it was necessary to meet twice a year so as not to lose momentum.