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NATIONAL WELCOMING CEREMONY: The Government of Barbados will host the National Welcoming Ceremony beginning at 9:30 am at the Sir Garfield Sobers Complex. The session will be opened by L.V. Harcourt Lewis, the Minister of the Environment, Housing, and Lands of Barbados, with opening remarks from Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Samuel R. Insanally (Guyana), President of the UN General Assembly and AOSIS Chair Amb. Annette des Iles (Trinidad and Tobago).

PLENARY: The first Plenary session is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1 at the Sherbourne Centre. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali will present the opening remarks, followed by L. Erskine Sandiford, who will speak after his election as President of the Conference. The Plenary will then address a series of procedural items. The Pre-Conference Consultations, held Sunday, agreed to recommend proposals on each of these items, which are expected to be contained in document A/CONF.167/L.3. It is likely that the delegates will move swiftly through: the adoption of the rules of procedure; the adoption of the agenda; the election of officers other than the President; the organization of work, including establishment of the Main Committee of the Conference; and the appointment of the members of the Credentials Committee.

The Plenary will then hear a report on the results of the Group of Eminent Persons on Sustainable Development of SIDS, possibly presented by Samuel R. Insanally, President of the General Assembly. This group of 10 persons met on 21-22 April, under the patronage of Dame Nita Barrow, Governor-General of Barbados, to examine progress and prospects for sustainable development and its implication for SIDS. The Group will present a series of recommendations (A/CONF.167/5) that may include: enhanced collaboration between governments and NGOs; a more flexible Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a funding mechanism; a strengthening of AOSIS; the establishment of an International Centre for Sustainable Development for SIDS; a UN institutional mechanism for focus on SIDS; and an inventory of biological resources in SIDS. The last item of today's agenda will be a presentation of a case study on the topic of "Tourism and Sustainable Development" by George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus.

PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR THE CONFERENCE: General debate will begin on Tuesday morning and continue through early next week in Plenary. Representatives from each government and many NGOs, UN specialized agencies, regional and other intergovernmental organizations are expected to speak. The Main Committee will meet on Tuesday, 26 April to elect Penelope Wensley as the Chair and begin work immediately on the outstanding bracketed portions of the draft Programme of Action. The Main Committee is scheduled to continue its work until Wednesday, 4 May. The High-Level Segment will meet on Thursday, 5 May and the morning of Friday, 6 May. The Plenary will meet on Friday, 6 May to consider the work of the Main Committee and adopt its report, before the Conference is closed.

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