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The Working Group II Chair, Takao Shibata (Japan), convened the Group and asked delegates to consider the Rules of Procedure of the Conference of the Parties (COP) (A/AC.241/48/Rev.2).

RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COP: In Rule 5 (notification of sessions), Uganda, on behalf of the G-77 and China, suggested that the Permanent Secretariat shall notify all Parties of the dates and venue of “an ordinary session,” and that the date and venue of an extraordinary session shall be notified pursuant to rule 4, paragraph 3 (when extraordinary sessions can be held) “and 4" (if held at written request). Delegates agreed. In Rule 6 (participation of UN specialized agencies), it was agreed to keep the brackets until it has been decided whether the Global Mechanism should be housed by one or several organizations.

The Chair opened debate on Rules 22, 31 and 46 hoping that by solving Rule 22, the other two would be solved automatically. Despite pleas from the Chair to specify the number of Bureau members, no agreement was reached and the brackets in all three Rules remain. Under Rule 22, paragraph 1 (composition of the Bureau of the COP), the G-77 and China wanted: nine Vice-Presidents; deletion of the text referring to representation of each geographical region by two members; and deletion of the text on representation of regions referred to in the implementation annexes of the Convention. The UK noted that Bureaus of subsidiary bodies would then also have to have eleven members. He preferred three. Spain wanted to retain representation of regions in the implementation annexes. In Rule 31 (election of officers in subsidiary bodies), Spain wanted to retain the text on the representation of regions referred to in the implementation annexes. The G-77 and China objected. The Chair suggested bracketing “nine” and deleting “three” in Rule 22 so that the COP-1 President would have an indicative number when forming the Bureau. The UK added a bracketed “four” Vice- Chairpersons in Rule 31.

In Rule 46 (voting), the EU said a similar rule is not finalized for the FCCC (Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity). The G-77 and China supported text noting that, if consensus is not reached, a decision shall be taken by a two thirds majority vote of the Parties present and voting. The EU, supported by the US, wanted to keep agreement by consensus. The Chair noted that the FCCC did not adopt its rules of procedure but applied them with brackets. The CBD adopted its rules of procedure with brackets. The G-77 and China preferred the CBD precedence.

In Rule 51 (method of voting for general matters), the G-77 and China proposed that a vote be taken “in the order used or established by the General Assembly,” which is in English alphabetical order. The UK added in the order used or established “by the rules of procedure” by the GA, which was agreed.

Rule 58 now states that official documents of the sessions shall be drawn up in one of the official languages and translated into the other official languages.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COOPERATION: The Secretariat presented document A/AC.241/66 on a draft proposed programme of work for the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), which suggests four priority areas: networking of institutions; benchmarks and indicators; inventories of traditional and local knowledge; and establishment of research priorities.

Regarding networking, the G-77 and China suggested identifying potential networks in addition to existing networks. India called attention to regional networks. Delegates will submit names of organizations that could draw up costed proposals for COP-1 on the survey and evaluation of networks, as well as suggestions for the terms of reference for the survey.

Regarding benchmarks and indicators, the Secretariat introduced A/AC.241/INF.4, the report on work being done on benchmarks and indicators. The UK suggested that the informal group that prepared the report: possibly be continued and expanded; extend its work to other regions in addition to Africa; and develop guidelines on ways to apply and use indicators. The Chair noted the Group’s desire for an informal, open-ended consultative process to continue. Delegates will submit suggestions for the areas on which the group could focus.

The Working Group also decided to ask delegations, international and non-governmental organizations to send the Interim Secretariat views on how to conduct work on: inventories of traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices; and the establishment of research priorities. The Interim Secretariat will compile these.

Richard Ledgar of the NGO working group on the CST pointed out that benchmarks need to be “predictive” and hoped that NGOs could take part in the informal consultative process on benchmarks and indicators. He proposed an ad hoc panel of the CST to focus on local area development. To ensure the important link between the micro and the macro levels, he said half of that panel should be composed of NGO representatives.

The Group also decided that the INCD should request the Interim Secretariat to present an annotated agenda for the first meeting of the CST to be presented to COP-1.

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