Sixth Session of the COP of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 
Havana, Cuba, 25 Aug.- 5 Sept., 2003




Mon 25 
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Armenia on behalf of Central and Eastern European countries

Swaziland on behalf of the African Group

Chile on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group

Ositadinma Anaedu, Chair of the Committee of the Whole (COW)

An ENB writer covers the opening of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST)

Delegates to COP-6 met in morning and afternoon sessions and began their deliberations in the Committee of the Whole (COW), the Committee for Science and Technology (CST), and the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC). The morning Plenary heard statements from Parties, UN agencies and observer organizations, and was followed by the opening of the COW, in which the programme budget was discussed. The CST met in morning and afternoon sessions to address the roster of experts, the survey and evaluation of existing networks, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the CST. The CRIC met in an afternoon session to adopt the organization of work, consider the CRIC-1 report, and begin a first reading of draft decisions.

MOROCCO, for G-77/CHINA, underscored the importance of regional coordination units (RCUs) to assist in implementing the CCD and the GEF’s offer to become one of the CCD’s financial mechanisms, and urged renewed support from GM partners. ITALY, for the EU, noted that the CCD is an important tool to assist in achieving the Millennium Declaration goals.

ARMENIA, for the Central and Eastern European Group, highlighted the importance of implementing the CCD through regional and subregional cooperation. SYRIA, for the Asian Group, stressed the designation of the GEF as a financial mechanism of the CCD as a turning point in the implementation of the CCD.

SWAZILAND, for the African Group, said that the review of the policies and activities of the GM should result in a renewed and delivery-oriented institution. CHILE, for the Latin American and Caribbean Group, highlighted the importance of addressing land degradation in small island developing States and expressed hope that the GEF will become an effective mechanism to support the CCD’s implementation.

The WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME highlighted the importance of improving food security and livelihoods of people living in degraded areas. A representative of the NGO community suggested that Parties’ expenditures on military defense be channeled to a UN fund, and a tax on international financial transactions be established.

Chair Ositadinma Aneadu (Nigeria) opened the first meeting of the COW. Deputy Executive Secretary Grégoire de Kalbermatten introduced the relevant documents, including: programme and budget for the biennium 2004-5; performance of the CCD’s trust funds; performance of the trust fund for supplementary activities; audited financial statements for the CCD’s trust funds and the report of the UN Board of Auditors; need for, modalities for, costs involved in and feasibility and possible terms of reference of the regional coordination units; and the status of contributions of the CCD’s trust funds for the biennium 2002-3.

Chair Riccardo Valentini (Italy) opened the first session of the CST. He emphasized that the CST must produce policy-relevant advice and contribute to the CCD’s implementation. Stressing that the CST has an important role to play in increasing synergies between the CCD, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, he suggested that the CST draw on relevant aspects of other conventions to improve its agenda

Listen to:

* Click here for a full text report on today's events

Mohammed Arrouchi (Morocco) on behalf of the G77/China

Italy on behalf of the EU

Representative of the World Food Programme

Amat Forés, representative of the NGOs

A Secretariat member presents reports on the implementation of the Convention and its institutional arrangement

CST Chair Riccardo Valentini (Italy)

AM Plenary Panel members, with COP-6 president Rosa Elena Simeón Negrín (center)

Above photos: Cuban delegate makes an intervention during the CST afternoon session (left). CST panel with Chair Valentini (right)

International Fund for Agricultural Development Exhibit (IFAD):

"Fighting land degradation and poverty: Learning lessons from the rural poor"

For more information, go to the conference venue foyer or visit

Above photos: maquettes at the IFAD exhibit depicting traditional land-use systems combining trees with crops and animal production

Above photos: IFAD members at the exhibit (left); a display of environmentally sustainable technologies developed by the poor (right)

Links to further information:  

*The UNCCD COP-6 official site

*The UNCCD COP-5 report

*ENB summary of COP 5

*ENB summary of the First Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC):
1st week CRIC summary

2nd week CRIC summary

*Linkage's Coverage (audio and photos) of UNCCD Cop-5

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