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The Group discussed the two central issues of the Global Mechanism (GM) — its functions and the criteria to select the host institution. The Secretariat’s document (A/AC.241/56) was used as the basis for negotiation. The Chair’s plan was to start by negotiating the least contentious subject, criteria to select the host of the Global Mechanism. Delegates argued that it would be difficult to decide on the criteria for selection before deciding its functions, so they started with the functions.

FUNCTIONS OF THE GLOBAL MECHANISM: The Secretariat’s text contained a chapeau and five functions: collection and dissemination of information; analyzing and advising on request; facilitating cooperation and coordination; mobilizing and channeling resources; and reporting to the COP. Consensus was easily reached on all but one, mobilizing and channeling resources.

At the suggestion of the OECD group of countries, a new paragraph was added to the chapeau stating that the GM’s function is to “promote actions leading to the mobilization of resources.” Delegates also added the G-77 and China’s amendment to the first paragraph emphasizing the GM’s accountability to the COP, including in policy, operational modalities and activities, and the need for transparency, universality and neutrality.

The G-77 and China’s proposals for additional roles on cooperation and coordination were also agreed upon. These included calling for: action to increase awareness among, and promote participation in the implementation of the CCD, of other sectors and stakeholder groups; the promotion of the full use and continued support of funding sources; and the promotion of partnership building in the mobilization of resources.

The contents of the report to the COP attracted debate. The OECD group of countries preferred an assessment on the “likely” availability of future funding. The G-77 and China objected, saying this would prejudge the content of the report. The word was dropped.

The function of mobilizing and channeling financial resources, paragraph 4, presented the most difficulty. Agreement was only reached on the GM’s role to promote actions leading to the transfer of technology and use of indigenous knowledge (subparagraph (d)).

The G-77 and China supported the Secretariat’s text related to resource mobilization (subparagraphs (a)-(c)). The OECD group of countries would not agree to the text unless these functions were preceded by an introduction that stated “promote actions leading to.” The Group formed an informal working group, which transformed into an open-ended contact group that met Wednesday evening, 11 September, and all day Thursday. Consequently, only brief sessions of Working Group I were held on these days.

The contact group was established to draft text on these subparagraphs, but the regional and interest groups drafted and exchanged text informally instead. The G-77 and China introduced a new version late Thursday evening, which almost achieved consensus because all the paragraphs, except one, were preceded by the chapeau of interest to the OECD group of countries. The lone paragraph precipitated disagreement. When consensus failed, the G-77 and China reiterated an earlier statement that they viewed the entire document (A/AC.241/56) as a package, thus without agreement on this paragraph the whole document should be bracketed. The OECD group of countries re-introduced the proposals they had issued Monday. Delegates agreed to bracket all three texts (the Secretariat’s proposals, the text introduced Thursday evening and the text of the OECD group of countries). The entire negotiated text on functions and criteria was also bracketed.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING AN INSTITUTION TO HOUSE THE GLOBAL MECHANISM: Delegates quickly reached agreement on the Secretariat’s text, which outlines the three criteria to be considered in selecting an institution to house the Global Mechanism: relationship to the COP; functional capacity; and administrative and other support. The G-77 and China also introduced three new criteria for the functional capacity, which were agreed after a brief discussion on how to phrase the text. The criteria require the institution to demonstrate its capacity to: provide and/or facilitate the financing of research and the transfer, acquisition and adaptation of technology; deal with poverty eradication and development issues; and exhibit principles of transparency, neutrality and universality in its management and operations.

The Group adopted a procedural draft decision that: transmits the INCD deliberations to INCD-10; requests IFAD and UNDP to submit their updated offers to the Secretariat by 21 October 1996; and invites governments to submit to the Secretariat written comments on the updated offers and to consider the selection of the host of the GM at INCD-10.

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