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Discussion of the Global Mechanism (GM) was based on the Secretariat's document A/AC.241/43. The document has three sections: delegates' statements at INCD-7 and subsequent submissions; an analysis of the relevant articles of the CCD; and an appendix grouping possible functions of the GM.

Only preliminary remarks were made on the functions of the GM and its host institution because regional and interest groups needed time for further consultations. The OECD Group later presented its positions on the functions of the Global Mechanism and the African Group circulated an informal paper.

During the preliminary discussions, debate centered on the status of the Secretariat's document, the host institution and the proposed functions of the GM. Delegates questioned whether the document should be used as negotiating text. Costa Rica, on behalf of the G-77 and China, viewed the document as a compilation text and said it would set up a drafting group that would prepare and present its views. France stated that during preparation of the document attention should be paid to the needs of different regions.

There was little discussion on the host institution. Costa Rica, on behalf of the G-77 and China, stated that UNDP and IFAD should be requested to submit a document providing their proposals to host the GM and provide details of how they could operate together. Sudan supported the notion of co-hosting, noting that combining the abilities of IFAD and UNDP would be implementing the CCD partnership approach.

With regard to the functions of the GM, developing countries, including Cameroon, on behalf of the African Group, India, China and Argentina, said the GM's primary role is to mobilize and channel resources. Costa Rica, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said a detailed analysis of the roles, functions and mode of operation of the GM should be provided. Colombia and Algeria said the scope of GM functions could still be broadened.

Some developed countries, including Switzerland and Canada, said the GM's role is "promoting the mobilization" of resources. Mobilizing resources is the role of the Parties. The UK suggested that the Group should compare the Interim Secretariat's proposals on the functions of the GM with the stated objective of the GM stipulated in Article 21 of the Convention. This would help determine which are core and which are secondary functions. The US concurred and said some of the proposals by the Secretariat on the reporting, advisory and informal functions are reflected in Article 21, but it is not clear whether the facilitation and coordination functions should be part of the GM's core activities. In determining the GM's functions, Germany said delegates should also consider what funds are potentially available and disbursed, recipients' funding needs and donors interests.

At the final Working Group meeting on the GM, Greece, on behalf of the OECD, said a drafting Group under France would present the OECD's views. France said the functions of the GM should include: compiling a database of bilateral, multilateral and private sector finance; encouraging co-financing and other mechanisms; advising NGOs or private entities on national desertification funds; and possibly providing advice on mechanisms for channeling resources.

On the last day of INCD-8, the African Group informally circulated a six-paragraph draft proposal on the GM's functions. The paper states the main objective of the GM as promoting the mobilization of financial resources and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of existing financial mechanisms. Some of its functions should include financing activities of action programmes, updating the inventory of needs of affected countries and coordinating multiple-source funding approaches.

The Working Group adopted a procedural draft decision contained in document A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.4, which invites written comments by 1 May, requests a compilation from the Secretariat for INCD-9 and requests that the Secretariat should prepare a preliminary negotiating text on GM functions and criteria for an institution to house it.

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