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Summary report, 25–28 February 1997

5th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 5)

Three of the subsidiary bodies to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(FCCC) met in Bonn, Germany, from 25-28 February 1997: the fifth session of theSubsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA-5), the fourth sessionof the Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG13-4); and the fifth session of theSubsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI-5). The subsidiary bodies held two concurrentsessions, with the SBI holding six meetings, the AG13 holding five meetings and theSBSTA holding four meetings.

SBSTA-5 considered a number of issues, including cooperation with relevantinternational organizations, activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase,methodological issues and national communications. Delegates reached agreement on theUniform Reporting Format, requested a work plan for an in-depth review of secondnational communications and requested a number of reports on technology transfer.Delegates also agreed to expand the technology needs survey instrument. They also notedthe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) second and third technicalpapers.

AG13-4 made notable progress in further refining the function and scope of a multilateralconsultative process (MCP). Delegates discussed several iterations of proposals andagreed to a “framework compilation,” which reflects areas of convergence anddivergence.

SBI-5 considered a number of difficult issues, such as the programme budget, the reviewof the financial mechanism and actions by the Council of the Global EnvironmentFacility (GEF). Discussions were complex and often lengthy, but delegates agreed on thetimetable and process for review of the programme budget, which will be discussed infurther detail at SBI-6. They also agreed on the FCCC input to the UN General AssemblySpecial Session to review the implementation of Agenda 21 and the arrangements for thethird meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-3). SBI-5 could not agree on thereview of the financial mechanism or the activities of the GEF and will continue itsdiscussions during the meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate from3-7 March 1997.


On Tuesday, 25 February, Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar opened themeetings of the FCCC subsidiary bodies at 10:00 am in the Stadthalle Bad Godesberg inBonn, Germany. He noted that this meeting marks a new phase in the history of theFCCC. For the first time delegates have assembled at the new seat of the secretariat,which will become the base for one of the most important international negotiatingprocesses. Bonn Mayor Brbel Dieckmann welcomed participants to Bonn and said thecity intends to become a center for addressing international environment anddevelopment issues. Parliamentary Secretary Walter Hirche, on behalf of GermanEnvironment Minister Angela Merkel, stated that Germany’s willingness to host thesecretariat demonstrates the high priority it places on the issue of climate change. Hecalled for accelerated negotiations towards an ambitious protocol with strong reductiontargets.


Chair Tibor Farago (Hungary) opened the fifth session of the Subsidiary Body forScientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA-5) on 25 February 1997. He stressed theneed for work on methodological issues, technology transfer and activities implementedjointly (AIJ). The Executive Secretary called for a firm calendar for future meetings tofacilitate preparations. He also pointed to linkages between the SBSTA, AGBM and SBI.TANZANIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, recalled that negotiations should not divergefrom the COP mandate. BAHRAIN inquired about embassy access to negotiationinformation. Following a request from SBSTA-4, the Chair established contact groups onAIJ and methodological issues. The SBSTA deferred the election of officers becauseconsultations with the Chair were still underway. On 28 February, the Chair notedprogress on the election of officers and said an agreement should be concluded thefollowing week.


On 25 February, the secretariat introduced the document on cooperation with relevantinternational organizations (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/2). The report addresses coordinationbetween the SBSTA and international organizations, such as the World MeteorologicalOrganization (WMO) and the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Thereport also highlights the Climate Agenda, a framework to coordinate internationalclimate research programmes and activities. The Agenda’s major partners include WMO,UNEP, UNESCO, IOC, WHO and FAO. The WMO introduced the Annex toFCCC/SBSTA/1997/2 on international coordinated research and systematic observationsprogrammes, which provides a summary report of activities supporting Article 5(Research and Systematic Observation). The WMO also noted the WHO/WMO/UNEPreport entitled “Climate Change and Human Health” and introduced the InteragencyNetwork on Climate and Human Health.

A number of delegations, including TRINIDAD and TOBAGO, on behalf of the Allianceof Small Island States (AOSIS), and ZIMBABWE, stressed the importance of Article 5 todeveloping countries. MALAYSIA recognized Article 5 as a basic building block for theConvention and urged the SBSTA to take the lead in implementation. The US stressedthe need for greater clarity on the intended role of the GEF regarding Article 5. A numberof countries, including the PHILIPPINES, KUWAIT and CANADA, said that theSBSTA should not invite the GEF to support Parties’ efforts on improving systematicobservations. The PHILIPPINES said that international organizations are not responsiblefor capacity building. The US noted confusion about whether the SBSTA should functionas clearinghouse, implementation agency or funding source. CHINA urged thatcooperation between international organizations should take place under the COP assistedby the SBSTA.

ARGENTINA, the US and IRAN expressed concerns regarding participation ofdeveloping countries in scientific programmes. ARGENTINA noted insufficientinformation on the effects of climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. MALAYSIAcalled for the establishment of long-term climate monitoring stations in developingcountries. The EU suggested that research and systematic observations be combined withcapacity building and training. SWITZERLAND expressed concern that the WMO’ssummary report does not adequately address economic and human aspects of climatechange. CANADA and AUSTRALIA urged continued development of nationalprogrammes.

IPCC Chair Bert Bolin reported on the status of forthcoming IPCC reports and introducedtwo technical papers on climate models and stabilization of atmospheric greenhousegases. An additional technical paper on implications of emissions limitations andreduction proposals, to be completed by September 1997, would synthesize existing dataand not require new research. KUWAIT, supported by NIGERIA and VENEZUELA,said Parties, rather than the IPCC, should determine the nature of this paper.VENEZUELA called for a special report rather than a technical paper. The US, supportedby AOSIS, responded that the SBSTA had instructed the IPCC to provide a technicalpaper. The IPCC Chair said that the IPCC made the decision to prepare this paper inconsultation with the SBSTA.

AOSIS, the MARSHALL ISLANDS, the US and AUSTRALIA also called for speedycompletion of the technical papers. Several delegations, including the EU andVENEZUELA, called for analysis of socio-economic impacts of different limitationproposals. AUSTRALIA urged that such analysis not delay research on temperature andsea level rise. With regard to the IPCC’s long-term work programme, the US suggestedgiving priority to regional and local impacts, and urged securing funds and resources fortimely translation and distribution of documents. KUWAIT proposed requesting theIPCC to take note of country submissions, contained in FCCC/SBSTA/1997/Misc.2.

In its draft recommendations, the SBSTA recognized the importance of national activitiesand coordination of international organizations for the Climate Agenda. It also noted theneed for adequate resources to improve systematic observation and research, especially indeveloping countries. The SBSTA requested Climate Agenda participants to provideperiodic work reports to SBSTA and requests the secretariat, the WMO and otherorganizations to report on observation, research and capacity-building needs.

Several of SBSTA’s conclusions concern the IPCC’s technical papers. The SBSTA notedcompletion of technical papers on simple climate models (TP2) and global stabilizationof atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (TP3). The conclusions also note that theIPCC Chair’s report on the Technical Paper on Implications of Emissions Limitations andReduction Proposals (TP4) was discussed at length and delegates expressed divergentviews. The Chair emphasized that the Joint Working Group (JWG) is not a decision-making body and that TP4 discussions concerning the JWG should be viewed asadvisory. The SBSTA requested the IPCC, in developing TP4, to consider documentFCCC/SBSTA/ 1997/Misc.2, which contains contributions from seven Parties.


On 25 February, the secretariat made a short report on the progress achieved in theprocess of national communications from Annex I Parties, on the facilitation of assistanceto non-Annex I Parties and the preparation of their national communications, and onresponses from non-Annex I Parties on the expected date for submission of theircommunications. The UK noted that its national communications demonstrate progresstoward reducing emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. JAPAN urged prompt reviewof communication results and welcomed the informal workshop. The EU hoped forupcoming workshops, input from the secretariat and submissions from Parties addressingtechnology transfer issues.

In the draft conclusions on national communications from Annex I Parties, the SBSTAnotes the secretariat’s report regarding review of first national communications fromAnnex I Parties. The SBSTA encourages Annex I Parties to submit their second nationalcommunications and inventory by 15 April 1997 or in accordance with the COP-2decision concerning countries with economies in transition. The SBSTA also requests awork plan from the secretariat on an in-depth review of these submissions.

In the draft conclusions on national communications from non-Annex I countries, theSBSTA recalled Articles 12.5 (initial communications) and Article 4.3 (financialresources for developing countries) and noted that least-developed countries may prepareinitial communications at their discretion, developing country Parties have yet to receivefunding for initial national communications and others have yet to request such funding.SBSTA recalled Decision 10/CP.2, which requests the Convention secretariat to facilitateassistance to Parties, especially developing country Parties, via workshops and otherforms of information and to report to the SBSTA at each of its sessions.

Parties did not reach agreement on funding for voluntary communications of inventoriesfrom non-Annex I Parties. The G-77/CHINA stated that available, voluntary inventorieswould be communicated “should the full costs of inventory preparation be provided bythe operating entity of the financial mechanism.” The PHILIPPINES supported the G-77/CHINA and called for reference to Article 11.5 (bilateral, multilateral and regionalsupport). The US warned that these recommendations would prohibit voluntarysubmissions from countries with other funding arrangements. The EU urged thatbudgetary matters be addressed by the SBI. Parties did not reach agreement on theparagraph concerning funding for communications of inventories. The paragraph wasdeleted and the decision was adopted.


On 25 February, the Chair noted relationships between cooperation with internationalorganizations and methodological issues and established an informal group on this issue.The informal group produced draft recommendations, which noted a JWGrecommendation that the IPCC, cooperating with other institutions and the FCCCsecretariat, “should take the lead” on methods for GHG inventories, climate changeimpacts, and socio-economic cost-benefit analyses. The secretariat, in consultation withthe IPCC and other relevant organizations, was asked to develop a work programmebased on the methodological tasks in document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/20.

The issues are: assessing mitigation measures and policies and adaptation options;projecting emissions; evaluating and monitoring the effectiveness of specific policies andmeasures; assessing mitigation and adaptation technologies; assessing the impact ofclimate change; and performing a socio-economic cost benefit analysis of adaptation andmitigation options. The SBSTA requested Parties to submit information and proposals onmethodological activities by 15 April 1997. These recommendations were adoptedwithout further discussion.


Discussions on mechanisms and procedures for consultation with NGOs were postponeduntil the next meeting of the SBSTA, because the secretariat’s documentation was notcomplete. The EU expressed its wish for more NGO involvement and called for promptattention to consultation mechanisms. In the draft conclusion, the SBSTA requested thesecretariat to prepare its document on mechanisms for consultation for the next subsidiarybody session and invited SBI-6 to consider it.


The secretariat introduced the progress report on technology and technology transfer(FCCC/SB/1991/1) and FCCC/SBSTA/1997/ Misc.1 and Add.1 containing submissionsby non-Annex I countries on technology needs. The secretariat noted the need to reviewactivities underway on technology and information centers and networks, and reported onthe survey of technology and information needs conducted in conjunction with theUniversity of Amsterdam. Luis Villanueva (Venezuela) reported on the informal SBIworkshop on aspects of implementation of policies and measures by Annex I Parties.JAPAN then reported on work of the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) to strengthenNational Action Plans, increase use of existing climate friendly technology and improvenew technology.

A number of countries welcomed the progress report and requested that the secretariatconduct further surveys of technology and technology information needs. A number ofcountries, including the EU, the US and CANADA, stressed the importance of the CTI.The G-77/CHINA urged removal of restrictions on technology transfer. The US called fora focus on commercial investment in cleaner technologies in developing countries and onassessments of needs. MALAYSIA said that many technologies are only availablecommercially. The EU, CANADA and THAILAND also stressed the role of the privatesector in technology transfer. MAURITIUS said that governments must approve transferof technologies from commercial firms. The MARSHALL ISLANDS and CHINA saidthat solutions do not lie with the private sector.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by KIRIBATI, MALAYSIA, NIGERIA, the MARSHALLISLANDS, THAILAND, INDIA and TANZANIA, said fulfillment of developingcountries’ commitments depends on the provision of resources and technology transferand is the basis for all negotiations, including AGBM discussions. They requested thesecretariat to prepare a progress report on technology transfer by developed countries andexpressed concern that little progress had been made on the promotion and transfer ofadaptation technology. They further proposed that the SBSTA establish anintergovernmental technical advisory panel (ITAP). The difference between AIJ andtechnology transfer was also stressed.

THAILAND and INDIA noted the importance of endogenous capacity building indeveloping countries. A number of countries, including the EU, the G-77/CHINA,MALAYSIA, CANADA, SAUDI ARABIA, NIGERIA and THAILAND, emphasizedthe importance of specialized information centers and networks. The US cautioned thatsuch centers should not replicate existing capabilities. INDIA also advocated use ofexisting technology information centers. AUSTRALIA said that its technology transferefforts coincide with needs outlined by CHINA: environmentally sound, appropriate forusers, driven by recipient countries, and involving hard and soft technology. The GEFprovided an update on its Science and Technology Advisory Panel (STAP), which isworking closely with the SBSTA to study technology transfer and identify promisingtechnologies.

Informal consultations resulted in the following draft conclusions. The SBSTA urged thesecretariat to accelerate preparation of reports on terms of transfer, adaptation technologyand technology information centers, and to complete the itemized progress report bySBSTA-7 on access to and transfer of technology based on Annex I communications.SBSTA further requested the secretariat to expand the technology needs surveyinstrument, to prepare a report on existing centers and networks, to update the technologyinventory for SBSTA-7 and to prepare a scoping paper on the role of the private sectorand activities of governments and international bodies in creating conditions forcommercial investment in cleaner technologies. CHINA and the PHILIPPINES wanted toadd that it is mainly the role of Annex II Parties to carry out such activities. CANADAand the US did not agree. The Chair suggested compromise text: “taking into account thespecial role of Annex I Parties and the special conditions of non-Annex I countries.”

SBSTA further requested the secretariat to report on experiences in using a roster ofexperts. The G-77/CHINA added that many Parties urged SBSTA to set up ITAPswithout delay. The US, supported by the EU, stressed institutional problems of ITAPsand said establishment of an ITAP should await completion of the evaluation report.MALAYSIA added that the SBSTA shall address this issue at its next session.Furthermore, the SBSTA requested Parties to provide information on technology needsand urged non-Annex I Parties to cooperate in the survey. The draft conclusions wereadopted, as amended.


On 27 February 1997, delegates discussed activities implemented jointly (AIJ)under the pilot phase and the Uniform Reporting Format (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/3) and adocument containing comments from Parties on methodological issues pertaining to AIJ(FCCC/SBSTA/1997/Misc.3). The G-77/CHINA, supported by ZIMBABWE, recalledthat the concept of Joint Implementation (JI) only applies to Annex I countries, and thatAIJ does not provide for crediting. He said that AIJ worked on a voluntary basis, and thatit cannot be a conditionality for technology transfer. AIJ should be reviewed in 1999.Annex I countries should not assume that they would implement the Protocol or otherlegal instrument though JI. He suggested requesting the secretariat to prepare a report onthe long-term consequences of AIJ on developing countries. ZIMBABWE emphasizedthat AIJ must be nationally driven. The US urged that the SBSTA take up the issue ofcrediting at its next session. The EU said that Parties should resubmit their reportsaccording to the new uniform reporting framework. He proposed requesting thesecretariat to organize a workshop on baselines and monitoring procedures. JAPAN alsostressed the importance of institutional arrangements in host countries.

A contact group was established to consider the Uniform Reporting Format and the list ofmethodological issues. The group considered the annexes to the document on this issuefrom SBSTA-4 (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/15), which was still open for discussion.

As a result of these informal consultations, the SBSTA adopted and decided to keepunder regular review the Uniform Reporting Format contained in annexes 1 and 2 to thedraft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/L.1). The SBSTA invited Parties to report on AIJunder the pilot phase using the adopted format. The SBSTA also recalled that thesubmission deadline for contributions to the synthesis report for COP-3 is 30 June 1997.Annex 3 to the draft conclusions contains a list of methodological issues related to AIJ.These include determination of benefits, measurement, reporting and assessment,endogenous capacity-building, transfer of technologies, costs, incentive structures andinstitutional arrangements. SBSTA requested the secretariat to develop practical optionson these issues and to report on the progress made.

The meeting was adjourned on Friday, 28 February, at 1:00 pm.


SBI Chair Mohamed Ould El-Ghaouth (Mauritania) opened the fifth session of theSubsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI-5) on Tuesday, 25 February. He noted thatSBI-5 must take definitive decisions and, because no SBI meeting is scheduled duringCOP-3, the group must discharge all its duties beforehand.

FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar addressed a number of items on theSBI agenda. On the review of the financial mechanism, he stated that the GEF needs apredictable demand from the Convention if it is to conduct a successful replenishment,and Parties must send a clear and timely signal regarding their future intentions. Onsupport for initial communications by non-Annex I Parties, he said there is an urgent needfor a support arrangement consisting of: a concerted “marketing” effort to ensure that alleligible Parties have access to financial resources; a central point for collectinginformation on the progress of communication projects; and a programme to enablegroups of countries to exchange experiences.

Regarding the election of the SBI’s officers, the Chair noted that the issue must bepostponed until later in the meeting as consultations were still underway. On 26 February,the Chair reported that Jos Romero (Switzerland) was elected Vice-President of the SBIand Patricia Iturregui Byrne (Peru) as Rapportuer.


On 25 February, the secretariat introduced the document on national communicationsfrom Parties included in Annex I to the Convention (FCCC/SB/1997/INF.1). The reportdescribes the progress made with regard to in-depth reviews of first nationalcommunications, including two tables listing countries and their progress. The USexpressed concerns about the costs of in-depth reviews of national communications andnoted that reviews may not be cost-efficient. The FCCC Executive Secretary stated thatthe funds for the reviews are received from the core UN budget, and are not extra-budgetary spending. He offered to provide the delegates with a programme budget paperin a few days, in addition to the planned complete budget overview in July. The EUexpressed concern about the progress of the review process itself and called on allgovernments to support it. The UK stressed that existing commitments to prepare nationalcommunications are as important as future commitments resulting from the BerlinMandate. The PHILIPPINES requested resuming discussions on the issue after theinformal workshop on national communications.

This workshop was convened on Wednesday, 26 February, and chaired by KatsunoriSuzuki (Japan). In his report on 27 February, Mr. Suzuki stated that the workshopdiscussed energy subsidies, environmental legislation and voluntary agreements.Regarding energy subsidies, he noted that several countries are undertaking reforms tointroduce competition and market conditions in the energy sectors, including the removalof subsidies, privatization, deregulation and decentralization of decisions.

Participants also noted, inter alia, that subsidies for fossil fuel production, whichare often motivated by important social concerns, can counteract policies and measurestaken to mitigate climate change. The removal of subsidies could be painful in the shortterm but can bring significant economic and environmental benefits. Regardingenvironmental legislation, participants noted that countries with economies in transitionare presently undertaking major reforms to facilitate transition to market-basedeconomies. This involves the removals of subsidies on energy prices, allocation ofproperty rights, changes in legislation and decentralization of executive powers.Regarding voluntary agreements, participants noted that voluntary agreements betweengovernment and industry, as well as other stakeholders, could be effective for mitigatinggreenhouse gas emissions.

On Friday, 28 February, the SBI considered the Chair’s draft conclusions oncommunications from Annex I Parties (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.1). The conclusions state thatthe SBI encouraged Annex I Parties to submit their second national communications andinventory data by 15 April 1997. The SBI welcomed the informal workshop held at thissession and concluded that the workshop served a useful purpose in allowing Parties andobservers to exchange information and views on the implementation aspects of specificpolicies and measures. The SBI also requested the secretariat to explore the possibility ofexchanging information by convening workshops on specific topics in conjunction withfuture SBI sessions. CHINA noted the costs and the inconsistent quality of workshops.He said the workshops should be convened “when and where necessary.” Theconclusions were adopted as amended.

Regarding communications from non-Annex I Parties, the Chair’s draft conclusions statethat the SBI took note of the activities underway by the secretariat to facilitate theprovision of support to non-Annex I Parties for the preparation of their nationalcommunications. SBI requests the secretariat to continue to report at future SBI sessionson further progress achieved. CHINA, supported by the CENTRAL AFRICANREPUBLIC, requested that future progress reports should be prepared, bearing in mindCOP-2 Decision 10, which requests the secretariat to report on its activities. TheCENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC requested a reference to Article 12.4 (assistance todeveloping countries) and Article 4.3 (agreed full costs for developing countries).The US noted that the GEF received little response from non-Annex I Parties when itrequested information about their needs in preparing their national communications.BURKINA FASO and ALGERIA stressed that procedures to deal with the GEF can bevery cumbersome and that efforts made by non-Annex I Parties must be recognized. Theconclusions were adopted as amended.


REVIEW OF THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM: On Wednesday, 26 February,the secretariat introduced the document, “Financial mechanism: review process referredto in decision 9/CP.1” (FCCC/SBI/1997/2), which contains information prepared by theGEF to assist the SBI in its review of the financial mechanism. The document recallsdecision 9/CP.1, which calls for initiation of a review process for the financialmechanism and for taking appropriate measures, including a determination of thedefinitive status of the GEF. COP-2 requested SBI-4 to undertake this review process.The document updates the report presented by the GEF to COP-2 by providing newinformation on project financing for the period May-December 1996. The document alsohighlights other relevant information presented in earlier reports.

The G-77/CHINA stressed the importance of the review, but noted that the document wasreceived rather late and full consideration could not be completed immediately. He saidthe review could begin at this session and delegates could benefit from the discussions atthe upcoming Special Session of the UN General Assembly. He also emphasized the needto increase the GEF’s resources. CHINA said the disbursement process should bestreamlined and more flexible. COLOMBIA said a review of the financial mechanismthis year is premature and more time is needed to examine the results of the GEF’sinvestment projects. IRAN stated that one session would not be sufficient for adequateconsideration of the review process. The DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OFKOREA stated that the GEF does not function efficiently and some projects took threeyears to get approved.

The EU noted progress on the operational strategy and the Memorandum ofUnderstanding between the GEF and the FCCC. He emphasized the importance of areview every four years to ensure the GEF’s conformity with COP guidance, theeffectiveness of its projects and the provision of adequate resources. He noted thatagreement on details at this session would help establish the role of the GEF and clarifyoutstanding issues pertaining to its forthcoming replenishment. CANADA said that inaddition to discrete projects, the review should also address elements, such as the GEF’sability to cooperate with other international organizations, leverage resources and“mainstream” environmental concerns. The Chair noted the lack of resources and timeduring the intersessional period. Delegates agreed to suspend discussion of the documentto allow more time for review and to revisit the issue in an informal process. On Friday,28 February, the Chair announced that the informal group on this issue would notcomplete its work by the end of the week. As a result, the SBI will reconvene during theAGBM meeting to consider the informal group’s conclusions.

INFORMATION ON RELEVANT ACTION BY THE GEF COUNCIL: Thesecretariat introduced the document on relevant action by the GEF Council(FCCC/SBI/1997/Misc.1). The document recalls Decision 10 from COP-2, whichrequested the secretariat to provide information on the financial support available to non-Annex I Parties for the preparation of their national communications. The documentcontains information on projects proposed by Parties, funding decisions and date andamount of funds available. The EU noted that the interim operating entity is functioningeffectively and that the GEF will be a “cross-point” for the flow of technology. Delegatesagreed to suspend discussion of the document to allow more time for review and to revisitthe issue in an informal process. On Friday, 28 February, the Chair announced that theinformal group on this issue would not complete its work by the end of the week. TheSBI will reconvene during the AGBM to consider its conclusions.


On 25 February, the Chair noted the SBI’s intention to discuss the issue of developmentand transfer of technology on Thursday, 27 February, and also highlighted thesecretariat’s progress report on the issue (FCCC/SB/1997/1). The Chair proposed that theSBI defer consideration of the issue to the SBSTA and allow the SBSTA to refer mattersto the SBI when appropriate. On 28 February, the SBI accepted conclusions taking noteof the workshop on technology transfer. The SBI decided to defer the consideration ofthis issue and to request the SBSTA to refer relevant issues as necessary.


PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR 1998-99 — PERSPECTIVES ON FINANCIALREQUIREMENT: On Tuesday, 25 February, the Executive Secretary introduced thedocument “Administrative and Financial Matters — Programme Budget for 1998-1999:Perspectives on financial requirements” (FCCC/SBI/1997/3). The document outlines theapproach of the Executive Secretary in constructing a new work programme that aims todeliver the outputs demanded by the Parties in the next biennium and to support theintergovernmental structure that they have established. The building blocks are sub-programmes corresponding to the main tasks that the secretariat is currently required toperform and are expected to continue through the next biennium. The document alsocontains: a proposed timetable and process for the consideration and adoption of theprogramme budget; a section addressing uncertainties and issues on which the ExecutiveSecretary is seeking guidance; and preliminary resource estimates for the core budget.The document envisages that the work of the secretariat for the biennium 1998-1999 willbe organized into six programmes: policy-making organs; executive direction andmanagement; science and technology; implementation; conference management andinformation services; and resources, planning and coordination.

CHINA, supported by the EU, CANADA, JAPAN and the US, welcomed the documentand requested more time for its consideration. CANADA and JAPAN also requestedmore detailed information on specific sections of the document.

On Thursday, 27 February, the Chair distributed additional information on items such as:options on the preliminary estimated costs for conference services; estimates of the costsrelated to the in-depth reviews in 1996; and estimated staffing of the secretariat for 1998-99. The Executive Secretary expressed the need for guidance on content, the calendar ofmeetings, the question of providing for an intergovernmental process after COP-3, andliaison arrangements in Geneva and New York. He also requested advice on how toprepare for the possibility that the UN General Assembly might discontinue financialsupport for conference services.

The G-77/CHINA stated that the budget must be prepared with maximum transparencyand simplicity, and active, informed participation of all Parties. As for the post-Kyotoprocess, he stated that references to analytical work on flexibility provisions, such asemissions trading, are unacceptable. He reaffirmed the commitment of developingcountries to preparing initial communications, but requested the deletion of a paragraphon reviews of national communications. He requested the secretariat to provide to SBI-6:a comparative table of current and future budgets elaborated sector-by-sector; a tableindicating different secretariat sectors and their current and 1998 activities; tables onestimated staff for the biennium 1998-1999; and any other information that couldfacilitate extensive discussion of the budget by the SBI. CHINA and MALAYSIAexpressed concern regarding a reference to peer review of national communications andemissions trading. CHINA also said it is premature to have a budget item for an MCPwhile consultations are ongoing. ARGENTINA supported the option for conferenceservices that allows for contracting translation services from a UN source andinterpretation and other sources from commercial contractors.

The EU stated that the issue could be advanced by informal discussions before SBI-6. Herequested an explanation for the preliminary increase in professional staff and said it waspremature to include the IPCC in the science and technology programme when itsrelationship to the secretariat is not yet clear. On non-Annex I Party communications, hesaid that activities should be considered in detail at a later stage. He expressed the hopethat 52nd session of General Assembly will decide that conference services for the FCCCwill still be in the budget.

The US recognized that the secretariat should coordinate work on developingmethodologies but should not undertake the work itself. On conference services, the USsupported contracting all services from individual or corporate contractors. He said FCCCcontributions to the IPCC budget should stay below 15 percent to ensure its independenceand expressed concern at the magnitude of post-Kyoto staff and budget increases. JAPANalso expressed concern regarding the total amount of resources and requested moreinformation on how increases will be accounted for. He proposed revisiting the issue ofthe post-Kyoto budget in July.

Regarding liaison offices, the US, supported by CANADA, proposed performing periodicvisits rather than maintaining liaison offices in New York and Geneva. JAPAN proposedcooperative arrangements for liaison arrangements. The DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’SREPUBLIC OF KOREA noted that a liaison office in Geneva was essential fordeveloping countries that have missions in Geneva but not in Bonn. COLOMBIA drewthe attention of donor countries to the fund for developing country participation andunderscored its importance in light of the move to Bonn.

Responding to questions, the Executive Secretary said the document was intended toprovoke reactions and, based on delegates’ comments, had indeed been “provocative.” Hesaid the full programme budget would contain more information and noted that requestsfor direct comparisons between future and current expenditures present a problembecause some current budget items have been spread among other programmes. He alsonoted that the proposed budget attempts to estimate the resources necessary for the post-Kyoto sessions. An informal group convened during the evening to further discuss thebudget.

On Friday, 28 February, delegates considered the Chair’s draft conclusions(FCCC/SBI/1997/L.1), which note that the SBI endorses a timetable and process forreview and adoption of the programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999. Thetimetable states, inter alia, that: a comprehensive programme budget will beproposed for consideration and complete review at SBI-6 in July; the recommendeddecision will provide a total budget with allocations by programme, a secretariat-widestaffing table and a provision enabling the Executive-Secretary to switch resourcesamong programmes within limits; some elements of the budget may have to berecommended as contingencies; and Parties will be notified of their indicativecontributions to the core budget by 1 October 1997.

The draft conclusions also note that the SBI requests the Executive Secretary to propose aprogramme budget for the biennium 1998-1999 for consideration at SBI-6, takingaccount views expressed by delegations at SBI-5. The SBI also requests the Chair toconsider convening broadly representative informal intersessional consultations tofacilitate agreement on the programme budget at SBI-6.

CHINA said that the SBI should consider informal intersessional consultations tofacilitate agreement on the programme budget “if feasible.” On the request for aprogramme budget, the EU proposed stating that “several delegations noted the proposedincrease of the budget and expressed concerns that a full justification should be madebefore it is agreed.” In addition, the EU proposed a “detailed” programme budget andspecific outputs from each programme. CHINA proposed noting that “many delegationsstressed that any budget proposal must be in line with the Convention provisions and therelevant COP decisions.” The US opposed the “Christmas tree” additions and suggestedretaining the existing paragraph. The US also noted that he would make additionalproposals if the proposals of the EU and CHINA were accepted. CHINA suggested, as analternative, taking “full” account of the views expressed. The CENTRAL AFRICANREPUBLIC expressed its preference for including the two additional sentences.Delegates discussed the issue at length and agreed to postpone further discussion to allowtime for consultations.

In the afternoon, the EU proposed that the budget be submitted for consideration “anddiscussion” and that the informal intersessional consultations will facilitate “possible”agreement on the budget. Delegates agreed to language calling for a “detailed” budgetthat specifies the output of each programme for full consideration and discussion at SBI-6. Intersessional consultations will be held, if feasible, to facilitate possible agreement.

VOLUME OF DOCUMENTATION: Decision 17 from COP-2 called on Partiesto limit requests for additional documentation and the volume of comments submitted.The Executive Secretary was also requested to submit further options for reducing thecosts of documentation for meetings under the COP. The annotated agenda notes that thesecretariat will not be able to propose options for reducing costs until after SBI-5, whennecessary information and statistics will be available.

On Thursday, 27 February, the Executive Secretary distributed draft conclusions ondocumentation for discussion in an informal session that evening. On Friday, 28February, delegates considered the draft conclusions in document FCCC/SBI/1997/L.1,which notes that the secretariat requires more time and will submit recommendations toSBI-6. The conclusions also request the Executive Secretary to explore the possibilitythat, when justified, each language version of the documentation may be distributed as itbecomes available. CHINA requested an additional sentence referring to the importanceof paper document distribution to developing countries, as many of them lack Internetconnections. The text was adopted as amended.


On Thursday, 27 February, the secretariat informed the SBI about the implementation ofthe Headquarters Agreement. COP-2, in Decision 15 of COP-2, approved the Agreement,which will enter into force as soon as the German Parliament has adopted the requiredlegislation. In December 1996, the Government of Germany issued an ordinance on theprovisional application of the Agreement. The secretariat also informed the SBI on actiontaken by the Convention depositary. It was decided that the SBI will recommend to COP-3 to consider the request from the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic to delete thename of Czechoslovakia from Annex I to the Convention and add the names of the CzechRepublic and the Slovak Republic to Annex I (Part II, Section III ofFCCC/CP/1996/15/Add.1, para.1).

On Friday, 28 February, delegates adopted the Chair’s conclusions on these issues(FCCC/SBI/1997/L.1). The conclusions take note of the actions of the Germangovernment and recommend to the COP to take up the requests form the Czech andSlovak Republics when it reviews the lists of Annexes I and II to the Convention.


On Wednesday, 26 February, the Chair noted that the input from the FCCC to the SpecialSession of the General Assembly, to be held in June 1997, must be addressed at this SBIsession. He noted that a draft has been prepared (FCCC/SBI/1997/4) and an informalgroup chaired by Takao Shibata (Japan) will address the issue. KUWAIT noted that COP-2 took note of, “but did not adopt” the Geneva Ministerial Declaration and that a laterreference to the Geneva Ministerial Declaration should be coupled with a reference toanother statement adopted by those delegations that did not support the Declaration. TheUS urged the informal group to use agreed-upon references. On 27 February, Shibatainformed the SBI that the informal group had been unable to meet because delegates wereattending other meetings. He requested interested delegations to submit writtencomments.

On 28 February, Shibata presented the draft conclusions of the informal group. Theconclusions note, inter alia: the linkages of the FCCC and the framework ofAgenda 21; the second compilation of national communications; the work of the IPCCand its steps toward a Third Assessment Report; and the first steps to deal with risingemissions, such as the Geneva Declaration. It also states that the General Assembly maywish to focus on priority issues, such as how developing countries can acquire the levelsof energy needed for development while avoiding emissions of greenhouse gases.CHINA said that the reference to avoiding greenhouse gas emissions was unacceptablebecause they occur naturally. He stated that the conclusions were too heavily directed atdeveloping countries and depart from the Convention’s spirit. Delegates agreed toconvene another informal group to reconsider the conclusions.

In the evening, the revised conclusions were introduced, which state that the FCCC hasreceived 165 instruments of ratification or accession, assuring almost universalmembership of States. They also state that a second compilation and synthesis of nationalcommunications was submitted to COP-2, demonstrating that Annex I Parties need totake additional measures to achieve the aim of lowering emissions. In addition, theconclusions note the importance of the IPCC, whose Second Assessment Report isconsidered to be the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment available ofscientific and technical information regarding global climate change. The conclusionsalso note first steps to address rising emissions, such as COP-1’s agreement on the BerlinMandate and COP-2’s call for acceleration of negotiations of the text of a protocol orother legal instrument. The General Assembly Special Session may wish to encouragemember States to agree on satisfactory results at COP-3. Also noted are the GEF’s effortsto support developing country Parties.

The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC proposed a reference to “human” capacitybuilding. The text was adopted as amended.

Regarding action by the General Assembly at its 51st Session, the SBI took note of theaction and requested the Executive Secretary to report on the review of administrativearrangement at its sixth session.


The Executive Secretary introduced the document “Arrangements forintergovernmental meetings” (FCCC/SBI/ 1997/5). He referred to arrangements atCOP-3 in Kyoto and noted a Bureau recommendation that, due to the timing of COP-3 inlate 1997, COP-4 could be held early in 1999. COP-4 will be held in Bonn unless agovernment offers to host it. Regarding the calendar of meetings for 1997-1999, hepointed out that meetings in 1998-1999 need to be scheduled soon to ensure availabilityof conference facilities in Bonn.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by CHINA and BOTSWANA, expressed concern about thelate distribution of documents for the current session. He recalled that therecommendation to hold COP-4 in early 1999 was made known via documentFCCC/1996/INF.4 during the December 1996 sessions. At the close of SBSTA-5, astatement was made on behalf of the G-77/CHINA expressing concern about thisrecommendation. In addition, according to Article 7.4, a COP meeting should take placeevery year unless otherwise decided by the COP. He requested COP-3 to review thisissue. The Chair decided to leave this issue pending.

On Friday, 28 February, delegates considered the Chair’s draft conclusions on COP-3,contained in FCCC/SBI/1997/L.1. The conclusions request the Executive Secretary toprovide a note to SBI-6 containing a list of possible elements for the provisional agendafor COP-3 focused on the completion of work of the Berlin Mandate and its adoption. Inthe draft conclusions, the SBI decides that: COP-3 will be held from 1-10 December1997; after addressing organizational matters, COP-3 will immediately allocate thecompletion of decisions on the Berlin Mandate process to a sessional committee of thewhole, open to all delegations; and in order to finalize the political negotiations on theoutcome of the Berlin Mandate, a ministerial segment will take place from 8-10December, when the final text of a protocol or other legal instrument will be adopted.

CHINA, supported by the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, INDIA, BURKINAFASO, MALAYSIA and the G-77/CHINA, proposed stating that any new substantiveproposals must be communicated in draft form to all Parties six months before theministerial segment. He noted that prior to COP-2 there were rumors that a ministerialdeclaration was forthcoming, but it came as a surprise to his delegation. The USexpressed concern on changing the existing language and noted that the SBI could not“tie the hands” of the COP. He noted that if a declaration should emerge from Kyoto itwill be the decision of the COP.

The Chair, supported by the US, proposed a reference to keeping the arrangements for theconference under review by the SBI. CHINA amended his proposal to requestcommunication from “six months” to “well in advance” of COP-3. He also stated that therefusal of some countries to support his proposal “left him wondering.” MALAYSIAstated that he was caught in surprise at COP-2 and felt an “air of conspiracy.”ARGENTINA reminded delegates that the SBI can provide recommendations to the COPbut cannot decide what the COP will do. He also noted that the SBI could not precludeissues from consideration by the COP. The US, supported by GERMANY and the UK,proposed that the SBI should keep the arrangements of the conference under review andrecommends that any new, substantive proposals concerning these arrangements becommunicated well in advance of the start of the conference. CHINA said this did notsolve the problem of transparency and noted that “arrangements” and “proposals” are notthe same thing. MALAYSIA proposed noting that all action be “in accordance withnormal UN practice.” Delegates debated the issue at length before agreeing to languagenoting that any new substantive proposals, including proposals affecting the purpose andorganization of the ministerial segment, should be communicated to all Parties well inadvance of the conference, in accordance with UN practice. As proposed by the US, thelanguage was included as a sub-item under the chapeau on “organization of work ofCOP-3,” rather than as a separate paragraph.

The SBI also adopted conclusions on the calendar of meetings for 1997-1998. The SBIdecided to recommend the date and venue of COP-4 at SBI-6, after hearing potentialoffers to host the conference. It called on Parties to submit offers to host COP-4 by SBI-6. The SBI also took note of the calendar of meetings for 1997 and requested thesecretariat to propose at SBI-6 a calendar of meetings for 1998-1999 based on holdingtwo blocks of meetings of the Convention bodies each year, with each block comprisingtwo weeks of meetings.

The Chair suspended the session in the evening on 28 February 1997. SBI will meetagain during AGBM-6.


Chair Patrick Szll (UK) opened the fourth session of the Ad Hoc Group onArticle 13 (AG13-4) on Tuesday, 25 February. He recalled that at its last session, AG13had agreed that formal conclusions about a multilateral consultative process (MCP) werepremature but emphasized that it was possible to distinguish several areas of convergenceand divergence. Discussions at AG13-3 were organized around themes contained in an“elements” paper (characteristics, functions, institutional arrangements and procedures).Those elements would also serve as a basis for discussion at this session (Annex II toFCCC/AG13/1996/4). IRELAND (on behalf of the EU), UZBEKISTAN andSWITZERLAND also made submissions (FCCC/AG13/1997/ Misc.1).

The Chair noted that ideas from AG13-3 were constructive and clear, but said that AG13cannot continue on a “diet of general statements.” The listed options need to be reducedand AG13 should move ahead. He noted that there were points of convergence, such asthe agreement that an MCP was a system for seeking solutions to problems arising in theimplementation of the FCCC and that its characteristics should be facilitative,cooperative, simple and transparent. The widest divergence pertained to whether an MCPshould be advisory or supervisory. The answer will trigger several consequences for thecharacteristics, institutional arrangements and procedures of an MCP and would thereforefacilitate determination of these issues.

Delegates began with general statements and questions. The Chair noted that in view ofthe time remaining before COP-3, AG13 could likely conclude its work no earlier than atCOP-4 or later. The EU called for creation of a forum for consultations or a “help desk”rather than a place where governments stand accused of breaching their commitments.

CHINA warned against duplication of existing mechanisms and said that the FCCCshould not copy the non-compliance procedure under the Montreal Protocol.UZBEKISTAN envisaged the MCP as a process that renders consultative services toParties and called for a special group with wide geographic representation to addressissues of law, economics, ecology and social issues. The group would be established bythe COP, meet twice a year and make non-binding recommendations.

Delegates then considered the elements of an MCP and agreed to first focus on questionsof an MCP’s function. The EU, supported by SWITZERLAND, called for an advisoryregime to assist implementation, which would have a broad competence but not encroachon other bodies. CHINA noted that an MCP should take action prior to, rather thanfollowing, implementation. It should enable and support Parties during the course ofimplementation. The US, supported by JAPAN, said that including scientific andtechnological expertise could lead to duplication of the SBSTA’s work. JAPAN said thatthere is broad agreement on an advisory role. The Chair stated that delegates hadexpressed a preference for an advisory role. He noted that no delegation had called for amore “intrusive” regime.

The EU noted that an MCP will not have the functions of the SBI and SBSTA, but shouldnot have reduced scope. It should draw on expertise from the SBSTA and SBI, andensure that it has access to information and expertise. CHILE noted that Article 14 callsfor settlement of disputes through negotiations or “any other peaceful means,” and that anMCP could fill the latter role. The Chair asked whether this process should be part of theformal procedure for dispute settlements and recalled a number of statements that hadenvisaged an MCP as a mechanism to prevent disputes.

On Wednesday, 26 February, delegates resumed consideration of the Chair’s elementspaper. On characteristics, the element paper focused on defining an MCP: nature,objective, expertise, application, and evolution. The Chair noted general agreementamong participants that an MCP’s nature should be facilitative, cooperative, transparent,simple, non-confrontational and non-judicial. CHINA called for further definitions. Shesaid “non-confrontational” means that the process is triggered upon Parties own request,the concerned Parties are fully participating in the process, and the decisions in theprocess are subject to consent.

Several countries, including the EU, CHILE and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, saidthe MCP’s objective should be to find solutions to problems of implementation,to provide assistance to Parties and to prevent disputes from arising. CHINA, supportedby ITALY, the EU and FINLAND, said that promoting “implementation” was moreappropriate than promoting “compliance" since an MCP’s function should be advisory.On expertise, the EU, supported by CHILE, noted an MCP shouldaddress any questions that could arise in any discipline and members should havesufficient expertise to ask the right questions to experts outside the group. The US,supported by the EU, cautioned against excluding specific fields of expertise and calledfor the possibility to draw on expertise of other bodies such as the SBSTA and the SBI.CHILE, CHINA, the EU, SWITZERLAND and SLOVENIA supported a standing bodywith a stable and fixed basis.

On institutional arrangements, the Chair’s elements paper focused on: establishment,nature, mandate, size and constitution. The Chair suggested a non-proliferation ofinstitutions. To avoid greater bureaucracy, CHILE suggested establishing a small bodywhere members would be selected for a specified time and that could meet concurrentlywith other subsidiary bodies. An MCP should also have a list of experts that could beconsulted. IRAN spoke against creating a new institution, stressed its budgetaryimplications and noted the problem that additional meetings pose for developingcountries. The EU and SWITZERLAND suggested a standing committee, which wouldreport to the COP. It could consist of 10-15 experts nominated by the COP. The EUproposed to follow the principle of rotation.

CHINA, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and IRAN, stated that substanceand functions of an MCP should be discussed before its form, and suggested that an MCPcould be an ad hoc committee. Concerning constitution, the Chair recognizedgeneral agreement that members of an MCP body or committee should be governmentrepresentatives.

On procedures, the Chair’s element paper addresses the body that would govern theprocess, issues to be taken up, result or outcome, frequency of deliberations, andestablishment of the process. The EU stated that the process should be governed by theCOP. SWITZERLAND and the EU cautioned that the COP should not be obliged to takea decision on every MCP item. CHINA preferred that the COP govern the process butthat reports and recommendations are sent to the COP via the SBI. The EU said thatissues could be taken up by Parties as well as by the secretariat or other bodies. CHINAcautioned that Article 13 states an MCP would only be available to Parties, “on their ownrequest”. On the outcome of an MCP, the EU favored recommendations ratherthan decisions. On the frequency of deliberations, the EU noted that meetings should beheld at least once a year. The EU and CHINA said the COP should establish an MCPprocess. The Chair announced that he would convert the points into a draft text, drawingtogether all ideas presented

On 26 February, the Chair distributed a bracketed draft text on an MCP(AG13/26.02.1997). The proposal notes, inter alia, that the COP shall establish amultilateral consultative and/or ad hoc committee and that an MCP will providethe COP with advice on resolving questions with regard to: implementation of theConvention; assistance to Parties to promote the process of implementation of theConvention; promotion of understanding of the Convention; and prevention of disputesand/or development of solutions. The options regarding an MCP’s functions note that itwill include consideration of: any question relating to the performance by individualParties in the implementation of the Convention; support; encouragement; and/orassistance.

The proposal noted that an MCP will be open-ended or consist of 10, 15 or 25 members,who are government representatives and experts in social, economic, legal, technical,scientific and technological and/or environmental fields. On the manner for submittingissues, the proposal notes that an MCP will receive, consider and report on: anysubmission made by one or more Parties; references made to it by the COP, SBI andSBSTA; or information provided by the secretariat regarding implementation ofobligations by any Party.

In discussing this proposal, the EU, supported by SLOVENIA, proposed that an MCPcould be a “standing” group. CHINA, the EU, ZIMBABWE, FRANCE andSWITZERLAND said the main objective should be to provide assistance to individualParties rather than to the COP. The EU also proposed retaining reference to preventingdisputes from arising and finding solutions. The US said delegates had agreed on the non-judicial nature of an MCP and “resolving questions with regard to implementation”seemed to contradict this point. She proposed that an MCP should “provide advice toParties on facilitating and promoting implementation.” The EU and EGYPT insisted onbracketing the US proposal.

On an MCP’s functions, FRANCE wished to reserve the opportunity for the COP toentrust tasks to an MCP and said a five-member MCP could be feasible considering thelikelihood of additional ex officio members. In response to concerns expressed byMALAYSIA and IRAN, the Chair suggested that MCP meetings occur in conjunctionwith COP and subsidiary body meetings.

On Thursday, 27 February, the Chair presented the revised draft text for an MCP(AG13/27.02.1997) to be adopted as an annex to the report of the session. CHINAsuggested a new paragraph stating that an MCP’s function should be “to provideassistance to Parties in relation to difficulties they encounter in the course ofimplementation including: (1) clarification of questions and (2) assistance to thedeveloping countries Parties in accordance with Article 12.7 (relating to technical andfinancial support).” The EU noted that the paragraphs on objective and on functions areoverlapping and proposed a new paragraph on an MCP’s mandate, which “repacked” theexisting elements in a different format.

The US and ITALY expressed their concern about adding the Chinese proposal. TheRUSSIAN FEDERATION opposed the Chinese proposal on functions because itsubstantially changes the previous work of AG13. The Chair described this session asonly the beginning of the process and encouraged participants to be open for new anddetailed approaches. He suggested that new proposals could be integrated in the text insquare brackets and could be considered further at the next session. The EU agreed andwelcomed the Chinese proposal. Participants agreed to integrate the Chinese and EUproposals into the draft text.

On Friday, 28 February, the Chair presented his draft conclusions stating that AG13-4reiterates that the work of the group is conducted within the framework set by Article 13.The draft conclusions note that the compilation in Annex II is recorded without prejudiceto any decision on the establishment of a multilateral consultative process and that theframework compilation for a multilateral consultative process reflects points raised aswell as areas of convergence and divergence, and would form a basis for discussion bythe group at its fifth session. The draft conclusions invite Parties to submit any proposalsthey might have on the compilation in Annex II, and request the secretariat to issue anyproposals received by 1 June 1997. The framework compilation considers an MCP’sestablishment, objective, mandate, nature, size, expertise, constitution, deliberations,governance, how issues would be taken up, outcome and evolution. The Chair describedthe framework compilation as a very accurate basis for future discussion. AG13-4adjourned on 28 February at 5:00 pm.


The sixth session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM-6) will beheld from 3 - 7 March 1997 at the Stadthalle Bad Godesberg, in Bonn, Germany. TheAGBM will focus on the preparation of a protocol or other legal instrument. Inaccordance with the conclusions of AGBM-5 (FCCC/AGBM/1996/11,para. 23 (b)), themain document for the session will be the framework compilation of proposals fromParties (FCCC/AGBM/1997/2).

The provisional agenda, as provided by the Executive Secretary, states that the mainresult of the session must be agreement on a negotiating text of the protocol or other legalinstrument. The text must be circulated in all six official UN languages by 1 June 1997.

Further information