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The fifth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) for the Convention to Combat Desertification

Geneva, Switzerland, 1-12 October 2001

Version française: BNT

The Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP-5) to Combat Desertification (CCD) took place at the Palais des nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1-13 October 2001. Attended by approximately 150 countries, the major issue for the Conference was the determination of the modalities of work of the COP during the two-year interval before the next COP, now scheduled for October 2003 

The COP was organized within the overall theme of Poverty and the Environment with a view to prepare for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The preparations were undertaken through a NGO dialogue session, the High Level Special Segment and the parallel meetings of the Committee on Science and Technology, the fourth interparliamentary Round Table and the Panel of Eminent Personalities

Friday, 12 October 2001
On their last day of work, the start up of COW and plenary sessions were delayed to the afternoon, then to the late evening and finally to the early morning of Saturday, to enable the contact groups on the committee to review the CCD implementation (CRIC) and on programme and budget to continue with their negotiations


Willem van Cotthem




ENB Daily Reports

Fri 12

Thu 11

Wed 10

Tue 09

Mon 08

Fri 05

Thu 04

Wed 03

Tue 02

Mon 01

BNT (Français)


Ven 12

Jeu 11

Mer 10

Mar 09

Lun  08

Ven 05

Jeu 04

Mer 03

Mar 02

Lun 01

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Mohammad Reza Salamat, Iran

12:00 midnight. The contact group on programme and budget has broken up again after another deadlock… An agreement two hours ago to establish a permanent CRIC that meets for two weeks in between COPs  and two weeks during the COP is the cause of the delay. Apparently, having initially agreed on a 12% budget increase for the Secretariat and a 33% increase for the Global Mechanism, this new decision on the CRIC requires a renegotiation of these amounts. But after an hour-and-a-half of negotiating, there is still no agreement and the prospect of the COW resuming in the next hour seems quite ambitious…

President Basset convened the final Plenary session at 6:50 am Saturday

Listen to Charles Basset's comments on the workings of the COP


At 2:40 am on Saturday, 13 October, Chair Jabbari convened the last meeting of the COW in parallel with the contact group on programme and budget and invited delegates to adopt its draft decisions for transmission to the COP


Adoption of the Report of the COW:
Introducing the report and draft decisions of the group, COW Chair Jabbari noted that the Committee had successfully concluded its work, and was recommending for adoption11 draft decisions, as amended by the COW, on:
* programme of Work
* review of implementation
* review of available information regarding the financing of Convention implementation by multilateral agencies and institutions, including information on the activities of the Global Environment Facility concerning desertification that relate to its four focal areas, as specified in Article 20, paragraph 2 (b) of the Convention
* review of activities for the promotion and strengthening of relationships with other relevant Conventions relevant international organizations, institutions and agencies
* consideration of rule 47 of the Rules of procedure
* World Summit on Sustainable Development
* World Day to Combat Desertification
* additional procedures for institutional mechanisms to assist the COP in regularly reviewing the implementation of the Convention. The G-77/China amended all references in the text from "committee to review implementation" to the "committee for the review of implementation


The COP-5 President noted that the adoption of the decision on the CRIC necessitated the election of a CRIC Chair. Basset reported that he had been informed that following informal consultations, it had been agreed that the position would be held on rotational basis with the first Chair coming from the African group, and that Amb. Rougatien Biaou, Benin, had been proposed as Chair

Biaou was elected CRIC Chair by acclamation


Finally, delegates considered draft decision on programme and budget for the biennium 2002-2003. Cuba requested that "and a draft scale of assessment" be added to Paragraph 15, which requests the Executive Secretary, in the proposed programme and budget for the biennium 2004-2005 and the performance report, to include detailed tables and narrative of the implemented, as well as proposed expenditures, resource requirements for each subsidiary body under the budget line for substantive support to the COP and its subsidiary bodies specified according to the actual Fund utilized. The meeting was briefly suspended for delegates to consider the new draft decision, and reconvened to adopt it following a minor typographical change. The US asked that her concern about the size of the budget be noted, and said she does not foresee similar increases in the future, noted the lack of transparency with regard to use of the budget and strongly supported budget reform. Brazil made a reservation, noting it will follow the scale of assessment agreed at COP-1.
Delegates then adopted the report of COP-5, agreeing that the Rapporteur will finalize the report after the close of the session


Adoption of the Report of the CST:
CST Chair Brown then introduced the recommendations transmitted from the CST on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the CST that, inter alia, establishes a group of experts. Chair Brown noted it does not preclude the creation of ad hoc panels in the future. The US highlighted the importance of ensuring adequate representation of affected Parties in the composition of the group of experts. The ten CST decisions were adopted

Listen to Chair Brown's closing remarks


ENB Coverage of previous CCD meetings
click to topSecretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification
Fifth Session of the COP website
Provisional Agenda
Provisional list of Official Documents
Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group to COP5
Official Documents of COP4

© 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.