Report of main proceedings for 21 December 2000
UNCCD COP 4
The Committee of the Whole (COW) convened in a morning and afternoon session to consider a report by the Global Mechanism (GM), review its operational strategy and consider outstanding agenda items on rule 47 of the rules of procedure. The COW did not hear reports from the Chairs of the contact groups as they had not completed their work. The ad hoc working group on the review of CCD implementation (AHWG) met to hear the Co-Chairs’ interim report.
Plenary was briefly convened later in the afternoon, but did not consider the reports of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), the AHWG and the Interparliamentary Roundtable held in parallel to the COP on 12-13 December, as expected due to lack of quorum.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
GLOBAL MECHANISM: The Global Mechanism (GM) Managing Director Per Rydén presented documents ICCD/ COP(4)/4 and Add.2, as well as Add.1 (A) and Add.1(B) on the GM operational modalities, provision of guidance to it and operational strategy. He highlighted some of the GM’s activities in the development of action programmes, the finances it had secured, and innovative mechanisms used to channel resources. Rydén said the GM is developing a new paradigm in multilateral conventions’ resource allocation and collaborating with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). He noted that additional resources were needed, including for additional staff, as the use of consultants is unsustainable.
The WORLD BANK, Co-Chair of the GM Facilitating Committee (FC), noted progress in the development of a broad business plan between the GM, FC and member institutions, and the importance of collaborating with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
Several countries, including HAITI, SENEGAL and KENYA, thanked the GM for support in the development of action programmes. MAURITANIA, NIGER, TUNISIA and the US and others noted with satisfaction, progress since COP-3 in the GM’s efforts to find innovative methods to mobilize resources and supported its mandate. The ensuing discussion indicated that the lack of a CCD funding mechanism was a central concern, thus many countries stressed the need for a GEF financing window to complement the GM efforts.
NIGERIA, for the G-77/China, and supported by the Southern African Development Community, noted the GM’s limitations to mobilize resources due to its mandate, dependence on COP for resources and limited US$1.3 million budget that could do little more than pay staff. CHILE, speaking for GRULAC, insisted that the GEF provide the necessary resources for GM operations. The ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY noted that Africa’s acceptance of the GM, when negotiations of the CCD were concluded in 1994, was premised on the understanding that donors and multilateral agencies would provide adequate resources, but if none are forthcoming, the GEF has a responsibility to ensure the flow of adequate resources. MALI recalled that the GM was "born in pain" and is still experiencing difficulties, and stressed the need for multilateral funding.
On the fate of their National Action Programme (NAP), NIGER noted the need to access World Bank funds and, with TUNISIA, said the CCD must have a GEF window for CCD funding. MAURITANIA called for procedures to obtain GEF funding, and for the observation of specific country circumstances in the provision of funds. With SUDAN and SYRIA, he requested debt-cancellation and equitable financing. ALGERIA sought an elaboration of the GM operational strategy and an indication of its core budget. He urged for multilateral funding as bilateralism had not worked well, and reported that the African Preparatory Conference for the CCD had requested the GM to push for a GEF window for CCD financing.
PAKISTAN expressed a wish for the to GM do more for Asia, and while he concurred with others on a GEF window, said it should not undermine GM’s work in channeling resources. INDONESIA welcomed developments in the GEF Council and expressed hope that these would substantially enhance resource mobilization for the CCD, but also that the developments would not be a substitute for existing Agenda 21 commitments.
Noting that many international institutions, including those in the UN, were passive towards CCD implementation, CHINA inquired what those that in the past pledged to assist the GM had done, and whether COP-5 should ask for reports from institutions that made commitments.
The EU urged the GM to concentrate on channeling bilateral and multilateral funding. He thanked IFAD for paying the tranche from its US$10 million commitment and invited GM’s cooperation with several intergovernmental and UN agencies and organizations. The US indicated an interest in providing relevant information for the inventory of existing funding, FIELD, and urged the GM to: also explore funding from the private sector, foundations and NGOs; utilize resource mobilizers with entrepreneurial skills: and in future COPs, to report on the basis of their mandate, instead of using the operational strategy. CANADA urged the GM to pursue collaboration with the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and to focus strongly on helping developing countries to better access existing GEF windows, and to comprehensively and transparently reflect its COP mandate. RWANDA summarized the divergent views and said that developing countries insisted on opening a GEF window while developed countries preferred maintaining bilateral funding, which does not correspond to the Convention. She said COP-4 should resolve this issue before closing. EGYPT supported mobilizing resources from the private sector and stressed the need for a prioritization scheme for the resources.
In response to questions raised by delegates, Rydén elaborated the three principles of its operational strategy, and said: priority is given to national action programmes; cooperation with the CCD Secretariat will be developed further in 2001; the GM core budget is US$1.3 million for 2000 and US$1.35 million for 2001 and US$2.5 million from IFAD would be forthcoming; the GM was discussing with IFAD North America, on how to access funding from private entities; and the GM would develop better criteria to report, in particular on voluntary contributions. The WORLD BANK responded that each member contributes according to its comparative advantage, and supported innovative fundraising strategies and aims to mainstream and institutionalize CCD activities.
The Secretariat presented document ICCD/COP(4)/3/Add.6, which is a review report of the Secretariat and GM on their role and results obtained in facilitating consultative processes to negotiate and conclude partnership agreements. There was no discussion on this matter.
CONSIDERATION OF RULE 47 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE: The Secretariat introduced this agenda item, which addresses voting procedures in the absence of consensus. He recalled decision 19/COP.3 requesting the COP-3 President to consult further on outstanding issues relating to Rule 47. BRAZIL reported that consensus had not been reached on the matter. Delegates agreed to a proposal by COW Chair Mafura to recommend that the COP defer the matter to COP-5.
Plenary convened briefly at 6:45 p.m. COP-4 President Batjargal informed delegates that due to the limited quorum present, the reports of the CST, AHWG and the Parliamentarians round table would not be considered. He adjourned the meeting until Friday, 22 December, afternoon.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON IMPLEMENTATION
Co-Chair Willem van Cotthem introduced the Co-Chairs’ interim report of the first session of the AHWG on the review of CCD implementation (ICCD/COP(4)/INFORMAL/2). He noted that it was a Co-Chairs’ text and should not be negotiated. The report contains background information on the AHWG session and proceedings, and highlights best practices and successes, main obstacles and challenges, linkages and synergies with other conventions, and strategies established within the framework of sustainable development plans/policies, as identified in the reports presented. It provides recommendations from the Co-Chairs for the resumed session of the AHWG including: an invitation to Parties for presentations to follow the procedures to review reports submitted at COP-3 and COP-4 contained in ICCD/COP(4)/L.1, and for developed country Parties to provide specific feedback on conclusions and their next steps; encouragement to developed country Parties to incorporate lessons learned into future assistance measures; and a request to relevant international organizations to present measures they are taking in response to the issues expressed in national reports. The Co-Chairs, in their text, further recommend that presentations and exchanges during the resumed session facilitate forward-looking conclusions and next steps to foster the implementation process, and informal wrap-up sessions to consider lessons learned and priority themes after presentations by countries in a given region. The text includes an appeal to countries to complete and adopt their NAP instruments to report on new developments at the resumed session. Delegates agreed to forward the report to the COW, and offered further suggestions for the review process.
AUSTRALIA, supported by CANADA, the US and NORWAY, stressed that the session had been a learning exercise, and said the identification of best practices and common challenges had been of greatest benefit. He emphasized that time should be made available at the resumed session for an informal wrap-up after presentations, by clusters of countries.
FRANCE, for the EU, supported measures to promote an exchange between stakeholders of the AHWG and maximum participation. CANADA, supported by NORWAY, underscored further integration of NGOs, especially women’s organizations, and suggested that more information on participation and gender mainstreaming be included in future reports.
PORTUGAL called for measures ensuring that exchanges and lessons learned transcend sub-regional blocks. In response, the Secretariat suggested that some representatives from each regional group participate throughout the resumed session.
UZBEKISTAN and MYANMAR expressed disappointment at the absence of the World Bank, UNDP and certain donor countries at the session, and called for more concrete suggestions for implementation.
FINLAND suggested a framework to streamline work at the resumed session. He proposed that key issue areas be considered in a flow process, beginning with the identification of objectives, moving to successes, challenges, opportunities and risks, after which envisaged results, means required and criteria and indicators would be considered for each issue area. He identified as issue areas: policy framework and enabling environment; legal framework; participation; financing; scientific and technological aspects; monitoring and evaluation; and synergies with other conventions. Co-Chair Cotthem thanked participants and closed the AHWG.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As COP-4 entered its home stretch, some participants expressed concern at the lack of progress in all the contact groups. They were also apprehensive about whether they would be able to conclude their work on Friday afternoon, following the decision of the COP President to adjourn the Plenary meeting that was to consider the reports of the CST, AHWG and Parliamentarians’ Forum due to lack of quorum. They said there is no guarantee that the two-thirds quorum required for the Plenary to meet will be obtained on Friday, as many delegates will likely have left Bonn. Some were still hopeful, however, recalling a satisfactory conclusion to the Recife meeting despite similar delays.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The COW meets at 10:00 a.m. to hear reports by the Chairs of the informal working groups and is expected to complete its work.
PLENARY: the Plenary meets at 3:00 p.m. to consider and adopt the reports of the AHWG, CST and Parliamentarians roundtable. It is also expected to consider draft conclusions and decisions forwarded by the COW.