Report of main proceedings for 28 June 1994

2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity (ICCBD)

PLENARY

Discussions covered three agenda items: 4.3.1, Draft ProvisionalAgenda for the First Meeting of the COP; 4.3.2, Preparation of theThird Session of the CSD; and 4.1.1, Rules of Procedure forMeetings of the COP, including their periodicity.

DRAFT PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FIRST MEETING OF THE COP:At the onset, ICCBD Chair, Amb. Vincente S nchez, remindeddelegates that the first COP is a two-week session and that theissues in Item 4 are complex. The ICCBD may also recommend to theCOP that Item 5 (recommendations by the ICCBD) be discussed afterItem 4 (matters stipulated by the CBD). Discussion revolved around:the agenda for the COP; the substantive issues to be considered inthe future work of the COP; and how to gather these inputs.

AGENDA OF THE COP: There was support that the COP shouldfocus on the organizational and financial matters. The issuesidentified include the: rules of procedure; format, structure andreporting duties by the institutional structures to the COP;guidelines and disciplines of meetings of the SBSTTA and theelection of its Chair; adoption of a budget for the second meetingof the COP; input into the CSD; determination of the agenda for thenext COP; medium-term framework programme for future COP meetings;venue and date of the SBSTTA meeting; adoption of a budget of thefinancial period until the next meeting of the COP; reportingprocesses for the contracting Parties; preparation of both anagenda for the following year and a multiple year programme withmedium-term programmes; and establishing the SBSTTA before theclearing house mechanism.

THE FUTURE WORK OF THE COP: Several delegations supportedthe preparation of medium- and long-term Programmes of Action (PA).They would cover: national strategies, plans or programmes; safetyin biotechnology; cooperation with international bodies; indigenouscommunities, their traditional lifestyles, IPRs and geneticresources; the benefits of the conservation of species;capacity-building and benefit sharing; technology and financialresources; transfer of technology; and the reporting processes.

PROCESS FOR PREPARATION: Several approaches were proposedincluding: holding informal discussions during this ICCBD, withopportunity for follow-up comments from all Parties; the InterimSecretariat, with governmental inputs, could develop an agendabased on a workshop held during this session; the InterimSecretariat could prepare an informal paper for circulation to theCommittee before the November COP meeting, gather comments, and usethe compiled paper at the COP. In addition, there was a proposalthat the COP adopt the CSD's multi-layer approach. Also the InterimSecretariat could prepare two papers on: the possible scope andobjectives of reports for the COP; the impact of IPRs onbiodiversity, how to redress the inequitable sharing of benefits,and genetic resource patenting rights for non-originators.

PREPARATION FOR THE THIRD SESSION OF THE CSD: Delegatesnoted the need to establish links with the CSD, by providing inputinto the 1995 CSD session addressing biodiversity issues, amongothers. Input to the CSD does not suggest a hierarchicalrelationship. It is necessary that the CSD input be completed byNovember 30 for considerartion by the COP. Four approaches wereproposed: an open-ended working group from this ICCBD facilitatedby UNEP to prepare a report; the Interim Secretariat to prepare adraft document, which would then be addressed by NY missions andthen forwarded to the COP; an inter-governmental workshop hosted bySpain, with regional representation; or the Interim Secretariatcould prepare a short report, invite comments, and then forward itto the first COP meeting. This last proposal received considerablesupport. The Chair will discuss this further with the extendedbureau and return it to Plenary.

RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE COP: The Chair reported that theContact Group dealing with the issue had almost completed its work.When the one outstanding matter is resolved the definitive ruleswill be brought back to the Plenary.

WORKING GROUP I

SUBSDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHONOLOGICALADVICE

The Group continued its fourth paragraph-by-paragraph reading ofdocument UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.1/CRP.3.

In the reading of paragraph 8 there were several amendmentsmade after long deliberations. These were with regard to thecomponent and structure of the SBSTTA. The following were exploredas a basis for structuring the SBSTTA under 8(c): a panel to dealwith specific issues; a committee with equitable geographicalrepresentation; and a two tier body. An amendment was proposed andadopted regarding the utilization of local and regional expertiseespecially in regard to the two tiered body. A small steeringcommittee with equitable geographical representation may be createdif the COP so decides.

Paragraph 9 to 15 dealt with the multidisciplinarityof the SBSTTA and discussion revolved around whether theseparagraphs may be condensed and/or in an annex. Regardingparagraph 10, the group agreed that it was crucial to haveexpertise in the SBSTTA covering the main objectives of theConvention which were conservation, sustainable use and fair andequitable sharing of benefits. The issues of technology transfer aspart of these objectives was brought up but it was agreed that itwould be included in paragraph 11. Reference would be madeto Article 25, subparagraph 2 (c) of the CBD.

Paragraph 11 concerned the broad expertise on the variousobligations and actions which the Parties would undertake under theConvention. In this paragraph, reference to Annexes VI through VIIIin the reports of the Open ended Intergovernmental Meeting ofScientific Experts (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/11 and UNEP/CBD/IC/2/Inf 2) wereadded. Paragraphs 12 to 15 were cut out of the maindocument and added as an annex. Paragraph 16 refered to theways to reduce the need for all types of expertise in each SBSSTAmeeting by focussing on a limited number of topics.

BIOSAFETY

The Group then considered a draft report on the need for, andmodalities of, a protocol on biosafety as contained in documentUNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.1/CRP.4. Paragraph 1 listing the topicsunder discussion, biotechnology and the safe transfer, handling anduse of LMOs, the need for and modalities of, a protocol, andconsideration of guidelines and codes of conduct, was accepted.

Paragraph 2 regarding a general agreement on the need foradequate and transparent safety and border-control procedures wasalso accepted. Paragraph 3 expressing the need by developingcountries to install safety procedures saw an addition by Sri Lankastating that LMOs will mutate and change with time and hence, thequestion of accountability in the case of local and nationaldisasters is important.

Paragraph 4 deals with the various views expressed bydelegates in their earlier discussion on Article 19 (3) of the CBD.It requires the COP to consider the need for and modalities of, aprotocol. New Zealand included a reference to the vulnerability ofisland biodiversity to (harmful) alien species. The US added thatseveral representatives felt that the step-by-step process mustbegin by consideration of the need for a protocol. Brazil and Indiastressed the urgent need for a biosafety protocol, given thetesting of transgenic species in developing countries with weakbiosafety mechanisms. Deadlock ensued into the evening, overwhether the paragraph adequately captured the views expressed bydelegates. Japan, US, Australia and others stated that there werea number of delegates who talked of the need to follow astep-by-step process. India, Brazil, Ethiopia and others statedthat most delegates favoured a protocol. Germany, on behalf of theEC, provided another addition: "A significant number of delegationsexpressed support for immediate work on the protocol while manyothers stated that a process should be initiated in order to cometo an informed position as regards the need for and modalities of,a protocol." This lead to a more protracted debate on whether "manyothers" could be understood to be more or less than a "significantnumber." Malawi, Cuba, and others argued that the majoritysupported a protocol while only some others were in favour of astep-by step process. At one point, Mauritius called for a show ofhands to lay the issue to rest. Australia recommended removing"many" and leaving "others." Canada, supporting Germany, provideda summary of the earlier discussion and laid out the four optionsconsidered: immediate action for protocol; COP to take immediateaction to consider the need for a protocol; a step-by-step processto draft a protocol; and a step-by-step process to determine theneed for a protocol. A contact drafting group chaired by Germanywas asked to prepare acceptable text.

Paragraph 5 on the process for developing technicalguidelines was amended by the UK and accepted. Paragraph 6on national biosafety capacities was accepted as amended by theNetherlands. Paragraph 7 on what the Committee shouldrecommend to the COP regarding the protocol saw deadlock on thekind of working group to be established by the COP to draft aprotocol. Malayasia wanted an expert group with regionalrepresentation; Sweden, an ad-hoc working group; and Cote d'Ivoire,an open ended working group. Nothing was resolved.

WORKING GROUP II

The Contact Groups continued their consultations during the day andthe Working Group met during the evening session.

CONTACT GROUP II

The Chair, Mr. Juan Mateos, opened the discussion on agenda item4.1.7 on the list of developed country Parties and other Partieswhich voluntarily assume the obligations of developed countryParties. Several countries proposed different lists that could beused. The UK withdrew the suggestion it had made in the WorkingGroup to base the list on non-recipient donors to the GEF. TheChair proposed another list that had been developed by UNEP.Several additions were then proposed including: Luxembourg (with afootnote to reference that they were not present); all OECD and EUcountries that had been omitted such as Greece, Ireland, Turkey andMexico; and Monaco. Mexico stated that it has no objection to itsinclusion in lists where modest contributions are expected,however, to be included on a list that prevented it from receivingfunds was unacceptable. Australia suggested using the World Bank orUNDP list of developed, high-income countries, as outlined inUNEP/CBD/IC/2/10. Brazil commented that it was not elegant to benaming countries and suggested that the Chair develop a list andpresent it to the Working Group. This was agreed.

In the discussion of "other Parties that may voluntarily assumedeveloped country obligations," Germany noted that the CBD calledfor countries, not communities. However, several developed anddeveloping countries disagreed, noting that "other Parties"includes any other Parties. There was agreement that the list wasone of self-selection. It was also noted that the discussion wasimplicitly focused on the notion of financial obligations. However,other Parties may wish to undertake other obligations such ascapacity building and technology transfer.

The Chair then distributed the revised text, Programme Prioritiesfor Access to and Utilization of Financial Resources, which hadbeen agreed on Monday. Four of the thirteen programme prioritiesand the first introductory sentence contain brackets. After someminor editing, it was agreed that the text would be submitted toWorking Group II.

WORKING GROUP II (EVENING SESSION)

CONTACT GROUP I REPORT: The Chair, Mr. Uppenbrink, reportedthat the Draft Financial Rules for the Convention of the Trust Fundfor the CBD (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.II/L.1) has been agreed. The WorkingGroup agreed to recommend the document to the COP as the basis forfurther discussions. The second item addressed by this Group, thebudget, is still under consideration.

CONTACT GROUP II REPORT: The Chair, Mr. Mateos, reported onthe five days of discussion of Contact Group II. Broadly, threeissues were addressed: programme priorities that have resulted inrecommendations to the COP; the financial mechanism andinstitutional structure, which has not resulted in any proposedrecommendations; and a proposed list of developed countries. Inclarifying of the role of the subsidiary body in reviewingprogramme priorities, Mateos recommended that due to the sensitivenature of this issue, the topic should remain with the COP.Accordingly, this Group will recommend that the COP does notaddress this issue for the time being.

PROGRAMME PRIORITIES: Document UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.II/L.2,Programme Priorities For Access to and Utilization of FinancialResources, outlines the programme priorities in two parts. Thefirst is of a general nature and the second outlines 13 morespecific priorities. The document was adopted and will berecommended to the first COP for use as a basis for furtherdiscussion on the issue.

DEVELOPED COUNTRY LIST: The developed country list preparedby Mr. Mateos was distributed and agreed. This will be formalizedinto an "L" document for adoption today.

INTERIM DRAFT REPORT OF WORKING GROUP II:The Chair ofWorking Group II, Mr. Koester, discussed the Interim Draft Reportof Working Group II (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.II/CRP.1)paragraph-by-paragraph. With minor amendments, the Report wasadopted.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: This group will continue to examine the draftreport on biosafety (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.1/CRP.4).

WORKING GROUP II: The Group will meet this morning. ContactGroup I will continue its consideration of the Secretariat'sbudget.

Participants

Negotiating blocs
European Union

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