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The Committee of the Whole (COW), chaired by CSD-5 Chair, Dr. Mostafa Tolba, convened Monday afternoon to oversee negotiations on a draft Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and a draft political statement by Heads of State and Government. The Committee elected Bagher Asadi (Iran), John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), Idunn Eidheim (Norway), and Czeslaw Wieckowski (Poland) as Vice-Chairs. Two working groups, one on cross-sectoral issues chaired by Amb. Celso Amorim (Brazil) and John Ashe, and one on sectoral issues chaired by Derek Osborn (UK), were established. Wieckowski chaired a contact group on the CSD Programme of Work (1998- 2002). A number of informal consultations were also convened to resolve particularly contentious issues, including: forests, climate change and radioactive waste. A number of ministerial-level meetings on these issues also took place.

At its final meeting on Friday evening, the COW adopted the draft Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Having failed to reach agreement on a political statement for the Heads of State and Government, the Committee adopted, in its place, a Statement of Commitment. The following is a summary of these documents, with emphasis on the negotiations that took place during the Special Session.