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OPENING SESSION: The first session of the Commission on Sustainable Development will begin this morning with a series of welcoming remarks. The Chair, Ambassador Razali Ismail of Malaysia, will open the session, followed by Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development Nitin Desai, who will welcome delegates on behalf of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. There will also be a message from the Brazilian government on the first anniversary of the end of the UN Conference on Environment and Development. The final speech of the morning will be made by US Vice President Al Gore.

PLENARY: At 3:00 pm the Commission will begin to address the substantive items on the agenda. The first item is adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters, as contained in document E/CN.17/1993/4. The second item on the agenda is the adoption of a multi-year thematic programme of work for the Commission (E/CN.17/1993/5). At its organizational session in February 1993, the CSD requested the Secretary-General to prepare a draft programme for consideration and adoption by the Commission at its first session, taking into account comments and views expressed during the organizational session.

The third item on this afternoon's agenda will be issues relating to the future work of the Commission. At its organizational session, the Commission decided that at each session it would determine the need for and the number of informal negotiating groups, as well as the need for other specific sessional arrangements for its work. It is likely that the Chair will propose the establishment of two working groups, one of which may cover agenda items 2, 3 and 4 (multi-year programme of work, issues relating to the future work of the Commission and exchange of information regarding the implementation of Agenda 21 at the national level) and the other may cover agenda items 5, 6 and 7 (progress in the incorporation of recommendations of UNCED in the activities of international organizations; progress achieved in facilitating and promoting the transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity building; and initial financial commitments, financial flows and arrangements).

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