United Nations

A/51/76


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 March 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/76
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 98 (a) of the preliminary list*

*   A/51/50.


             ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:  IMPLEMENTATION
             OF DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNTIED NATIONS
                   CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

               Elaboration of an international convention to combat
               desertification in those countries experiencing
               serious drought and/or desertification, particularly
                                   in Africa

                         Note by the Secretary-General


     The eighth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
for the Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, particularly in Africa, was held at Geneva, from 5 to
15 February 1996.  The Secretary-General has the honour to submit to
the General Assembly, annexed to the present note, the report on that
session.


                                     ANNEX

               Report of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
               for the Elaboration of an International Convention to
               Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing
               Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly
                       in Africa, on its eighth session


                                   CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs Page

    I.  INTRODUCTION ........................................     1       4

   II.  ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS ..............................   2 - 15    4

        A.  Officers of the Committee .......................   2 - 5     4

        B.  Adoption of the agenda ..........................     6       5

        C.  Attendance ......................................   7 - 13    5

        D.  Documentation ...................................     14      7

        E.  Accreditation of non-governmental organizations .     15      7

  III.  PREPARATION FOR THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES .......  16 - 29    7

        A.  Recommendations of Working Group I ..............  17 - 21    7

        B.  Recommendations of Working Group II .............  22 - 27    8

        C.  Presentations on water and energy ...............  28 - 29    8

   IV.  SPECIAL ACTION ......................................  30 - 31    9

    V.  STATUS OF SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION OF THE
        CONVENTION ..........................................  32 - 36    9

   VI.  REVIEW OF THE SITUATION AS REGARDS EXTRABUDGETARY
        FUNDS ...............................................  37 - 38    9

  VII.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE NINTH SESSION ............     39     10

 VIII.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ITS EIGHTH 
        SESSION .............................................     40     10

                                  Appendices

  I.    List of documents before the Committee at its eighth session ... 11

 II.    Decisions adopted by the Committee at its eighth session ....... 13

III.    Conclusions by the Chairman .................................... 18

        A.  Water  and energy .......................................... 18
 
        B.  Special action ............................................. 18
  
        C.  Review of the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds .... 22
 
 IV.    Draft provisional agenda for the ninth session of the Committee  24


                               I.  INTRODUCTION


                      Opening and duration of the session

1.   The eighth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for
the Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat Desertification in
those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
particularly in Africa, was held at Geneva from 5 to 15 February 1996.  The
session was convened in accordance with paragraph 3 of General Assembly
resolution 50/112 of 20 December 1995, entitled "Elaboration of an
international convention to combat desertification in those countries
experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa". 
At its eighth session, the Committee held eight meetings (1st to 8th). 


                          II.  ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS

                         A.  Officers of the Committee

2.   At its sixth session, the Committee, in accordance with paragraph 3 (a)
of its resolution 6/1, decided that Working Group I would have an additional
Vice-Chairman.  Accordingly, at the 5th meeting, on 7 February 1996, the
Committee elected Mr. Franklin C. Moore (United States of America) as
Vice-Chairman of Working Group I by acclamation.

3.   At the 7th meeting, on 13 February, the Committee elected
Mr. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania) as Chairman of Working
Group I to replace Mr. Mourad Ahmia (Algeria), who was unable to continue his
functions in that post.

4.   At the 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee elected
Ms. A. K. Ahuja (India) as its Vice-Chairman to replace Mr. T. P. Sreenivasan
(India), who was also unable to continue his functions in that post.

5.   The Bureau of the Committee, as elected at its sixth and eighth
sessions, is as follows:

     Chairman:  Mr. Bo Kjelle'n (Sweden)

     Vice-Chairmen:  Mr. Rene' Vale'ry Mongbe (Benin)
                     Ms. A. K. Ahuja (India)
                     Mr. Jose' Urrutia (Peru)

     Rapporteur:  Mr. Nikita F. Glazovsky (Russian Federation)


Working Group I

     Chairman:  Mr. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania)

     Vice-Chairmen:  Mr. Mohammad Reza H. K. Jabbary (Islamic
                       Republic of Iran)
                     Mr. Erwin Orti'z-Gandarillas (Bolivia)
                     Mr. Franklin C. Moore (United States of America)

Working Group II

     Chairman:  Mr. Takao Shibata (Japan)

     Vice-Chairmen:  Mr. David Etuket (Uganda)
                     Mr. Anatoli M. Ovchinnikov (Uzbekistan)


                          B.  Adoption of the agenda

6.   At its 1st meeting, on 5 February, the Committee adopted the following
agenda:

     1.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

     2.  Preparation for the Conference of the Parties.

     3.  Special action:

         (a)  Urgent action for Africa;

         (b)  Action taken in other regions.

     4.  Status of signature and ratification of the Convention.

     5.  Review of the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds.

     6.  Adoption of the provisional agenda for the ninth session.

     7.  Adoption of the report of the Committee on its eighth session.


                                C.  Attendance

7.   Representatives of the following States attended the session: 
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African
Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Co^te d'Ivoire, Cuba,
Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea,
Haiti, Holy See, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar,  Malawi,
Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia,  Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal,
Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sao
Tome and Principle, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain,
Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo,
Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of
America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

8.   Palestine was also represented.

9.   The following United Nations offices and organs were represented: 
United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office,
United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Institute for Training
and Research and United Nations Volunteers.

10.  The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was
represented.

11.  The following specialized agencies and other organizations of the United
Nations system were represented:  Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, World
Meteorological Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development,
United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Global Environment
Facility.

12.  The following intergovernmental organizations were represented:  Agency
for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, Arab Maghreb Union, Commission of the
European Communities, Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development
(IGADD), League of Arab States, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development, Organization of African Unity, Permanent Interstate Committee for
Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), Sahara and Sahel Observatory and
Southern African Development Community (SADC).

13.  The following non-governmental organizations were represented:  Actions
pour le de'veloppement rural inte'gre', Association des volontaires pour le
de'veloppement, Association pour la protection de la nature, Australia
Wilderness Society, Comite' de coordination des actions des organisations
non-gouvernementales au Mali, Comite' Nacional Pro Defensa de la Fauna y
Flora, Confe'deration des organisations non-gouvernementales d'environnement
et de de'veloppement de l'Afrique centrale, Coope'rative d'agriculture et
d'e'levage de reboisement de Bareina, Development Group, Environment Liaison
Centre International, Environmental Monitoring Group South Africa,
Environmentalist Society, Sudan, Environnement et de'veloppement du tiers-
monde, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth, Friends World
Committee for Consultation, Fundaci'on del Sur, GECOU Research Group, German
Forum, Guamina, Guine'e-Ecologie, Institut de recherche sur l'environnement,
International Academy of the Environment, International Council of Women,
International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Namibia Development Trust,
Natural Heritage Institute, Proterra, Sahel De'fis:  De'veloppement
Environnement Formation Insertion Social, Service Extension and Action
Research for Communities in the Hills (SEARCH)-Nepal, Society for Conservation
and Protection of the Environment, Solidarite' Canada Sahel, Stockholm
Environment Institute, Thusano Lefatsheng, Uganda Women Tree Planting
Movement, World Learning USA, World Young Women's Christian Association, Youth
for Action and Zero-Zimbabwe.


                               D.  Documentation

14.  The documents before the Committee at its eighth session are listed in
appendix I to the present report.


              E.  Accreditation of non-governmental organizations

15.  At its 1st meeting, on 5 February, the Committee, bearing in mind
paragraph 19 of General Assembly resolution 47/188 of 22 December 1992 and
rule 49 of the rules of procedure of the Committee (A/AC.241/3), decided to
approve the accreditation of the non-governmental organizations listed in
document A/AC.241/9/Add.11 (see appendix II, decision 8/1).


              III.  PREPARATION FOR THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES

16.  The question of preparation of the Conference of the Parties (agenda
item 2) was considered by Working Groups I and II.


                    A.  Recommendations of Working Group I

17.  At the 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Vice-Chairman of Working
Group I, Mr. Erwin Orti'z-Gandarillas (Bolivia), reported on the outcome of
the deliberations in that Working Group and introduced four draft decisions
recommended by the Working Group for adoption by the Committee.

Designation of a permanent secretariat and arrangements for its functioning

18.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.1) entitled
"Designation of a permanent secretariat and arrangements for its functioning",
as orally revised by the Vice-Chairman of the Working Group (see appendix II,
decision 8/2).

Programme and budget

19.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.2) entitled
"Programme and budget" (see appendix II, decision 8/3).

Draft financial rules of the Conference of the Parties, its subsidiary bodies
and the permanent secretariat

20.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.3) entitled
"Draft financial rules of the Conference of the Parties, its subsidiary bodies
and the permanent secretariat" (see appendix II, decision 8/4).

Identification of an organization to house the Global Mechanism

21.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.4) entitled
"Identification of an organization to house the Global Mechanism", as orally
revised by the Vice-Chairman of the Working Group (see appendix II,
decision 8/5).


                    B.  Recommendations of Working Group II

22.  At the 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Chairman of Working Group II,
Mr. Takao Shibata (Japan), reported on the outcome of the deliberations in
that Working Group and introduced five draft decisions recommended by the
Working Group for adoption by the Committee.

Organization of scientific and technological cooperation

23.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.1) entitled
"Organization of scientific and technological cooperation" (see appendix II,
decision 8/6).

Draft rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties

24.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.2) entitled
"Draft rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties" (see appendix II,
decision 8/7).

Procedures for communication of information and review of implementation

25.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.3) entitled
"Procedures for communication of information and review of implementation"
(see appendix II, decision 8/8).

Procedures for conciliation and arbitration

26.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.4) entitled
"Procedures for conciliation and arbitration", as orally revised by the
Chairman of the Working Group (see appendix II, decision 8/9).

Procedures to resolve questions on implementation

27.  The Committee adopted a draft decision (A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.5) entitled
"Procedures to resolve questions on implementation", as orally revised by the
Chairman of the Working Group (see appendix II, decision 8/10).


                     C.  Presentations on water and energy

28.  At its 4th meeting, on 7 February, the Committee heard presentations on
water and energy.

29.  At its 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee had before it a
conference room paper containing conclusions by the Chairman on these
presentations (A/AC.241/CRP.17), which the Committee agreed to annex to the
present report (see appendix III).


                              IV.  SPECIAL ACTION

30.  The Committee held a discussion on the questions of special action: 
urgent action for Africa (agenda item 3(a)) and action taken in other regions
(agenda item 3(b)) at its 2nd to 6th meetings, on 8, 9 and 14 February 1996.

31.  At its 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee had before it a
conference room paper containing conclusions by the Chairman on the item
(A/AC.241/CRP.16), which the Committee agreed to annex to the report (see
appendix III).


          V.  STATUS OF SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION

32.  The Committee held a discussion on the question of the status of
signature and ratification of the Convention (agenda item 4) at its 2nd and
6th meetings, on 6 and 12 February 1996.

33.  The Executive Secretary of the interim secretariat informed the
Committee that 25 countries had ratified the Convention.

34.  A number of countries indicated that they had finalized or were in the
process of ratifying the Convention.

35.  The representative of the Russian Federation stated that his Government
had decided not to sign the Convention.  In taking the decision whether or not
to accede to the Convention, the Russian Federation would first take into
account whether the status of the Russian Federation as a country with an
economy in transition would be considered.

36.  The Chairman stated that the discussion held would indicate that the
Convention was likely to enter into force this year and recalled that the
General Assembly, in its resolution 50/112, had indicated that the Conference
of the Parties would be held in the second and third weeks of August 1997. 
The Chairman added that it would be preferable to hold the Conference in the
first two weeks of September 1997.


         VI.  REVIEW OF THE SITUATION AS REGARDS EXTRABUDGETARY FUNDS

37.  The Committee held a discussion on the question of the review of the
situation as regards extrabudgetary funds (agenda item 5) at its 5th and 6th
meetings, on 7 and 13 February 1996.

38.  At its 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee had before it a
conference room paper containing conclusions by the Chairman on the item
(A/AC.241/CRP.18), which the Committee agreed to annex to the report (see
appendix III).


                VII.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE NINTH SESSION

39.  At its 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee approved a draft
provisional agenda for its ninth session (see appendix IV).


             VIII.  ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ITS
                    EIGHTH SESSION

40.  At its 8th meeting, on 15 February, the Committee adopted its draft
report as contained in documents A/AC.241/L.29 and Add.1, and authorized the
Acting Rapporteur, Mr. Jose' Urrutia (Peru), Vice-Chairman of the Committee,
to finalize it in consultation with the Bureau of the Committee.


                                  APPENDIX I

                 List of documents before the Committee at its
                                eighth session


                       Agenda
Document symbol         item                  Title or description

A/AC.241/9/Add.11         1     List of non-governmental organizations
                                recommended for accreditation by the Committee

A/AC.241/42               1     Provisional agenda for the eighth session

A/AC.241/43               2     Note by the Secretariat on the identification
                                of an organization to house the Global
                                Mechanism

A/AC.241/44               2     Note by the Secretariat on the designation of
                                a permanent secretariat and arrangements for
                                its functioning

A/AC.241/45               2     Note by the Secretariat on the draft financial
                                rules of the Conference of the Parties, its
                                subsidiary bodies and the permanent
                                secretariat

A/AC.241/46               2     Note by the Secretariat on the programme and
                                budget

A/AC.241/47               2     Note by the Secretariat on the organization of
                                scientific and technological cooperation

A/AC.241/48               2     Note by the Secretariat on the draft rules of
                                procedure of the Conference of the Parties

A/AC.241/49               2     Note by the Secretariat on the procedures for
                                communication of information and review of
                                implementation

A/AC.241/50               2     Note by the Secretariat on procedures to
                                resolve questions on implementation

A/AC.241/51 and Corr.1    2     Note by the Secretariat on procedures for
                                conciliation and arbitration

A/AC.241/52 and Add.1     5     Note by the Secretariat on the review of the
                                situation as regards extrabudgetary funds

A/AC.241/L.29 and Add.1   7     Draft report of the Committee on its eighth
                                session

A/AC.241/CRP.16           3     Conference room paper containing conclusions
                                by the Chairman on agenda item 3

A/AC.241/CRP.17           2     Conference room paper containing conclusions
                                by the Chairman on presentations on water and
                                energy

A/AC.241/CRP.18           5     Conference room paper containing conclusions
                                by the Chairman on agenda item 5

A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.1      2     Draft decision submitted by the Vice-Chairman
                                of Working Group I, Mr. Erwin Orti'z-
                                Gandarillas (Bolivia), entitled "Designation
                                of a permanent secretariat and arrangements
                                for its functioning"

A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.2      2     Draft decision submitted by the Vice-Chairman
                                of Working Group I, Mr. Erwin Orti'z-
                                Gandarillas (Bolivia), entitled "Programme and
                                budget"

A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.3      2     Draft decision submitted by the Vice-Chairman
                                of Working Group I, Mr. Erwin Orti'z-
                                Gandarillas (Bolivia), entitled "Draft
                                financial rules of the Conference of the
                                Parties, its subsidiary bodies and the
                                permanent secretariat"

A/AC.241/WG.I(8)/L.4      2     Draft decision submitted by the Vice-Chairman
                                of Working Group I, Mr. Erwin Orti'z-
                                Gandarillas (Bolivia), entitled
                                "Identification of an organization to house
                                the Global Mechanism"

A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.1     2     Draft decision submitted by the Chairman of
                                Working Group II, entitled "Organization of
                                scientific and technological cooperation"

A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.2     2     Draft decision submitted by the Chairman of
                                Working Group II, entitled "Draft rules of
                                procedure of the Conference of the Parties"

A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.3     2     Draft decision submitted by the Chairman of
                                Working Group II, entitled "Procedures for
                                communication of information and review of
                                implementation"

A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.4     2     Draft decision submitted by the Chairman of
                                Working Group II, entitled "Procedures for
                                conciliation and arbitration"

A/AC.241/WG.II(8)/L.5     2     Draft decision submitted by the Chairman of
                                Working Group II, entitled "Procedures to
                                resolve questions on implementation"

                                  APPENDIX II

           Decisions adopted by the Committee at its eighth session


                                 Decision 8/1

                Accreditation of non-governmental organizations

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, bearing in mind
paragraph 19 of General Assembly resolution 47/188 of 22 December 1992 and
rule 49 of the rules of procedure of the Committee (A/AC.241/3), decided to
approve the accreditation of the following non-governmental organizations:

     ACTIONAID
     Collectif d'actions pour le de'veloppement inte'gre' dans les
       communaute's (CADIC)
     Coope'rative d'agriculture et d'e'levage de reboisement de Bareina
     Green Cross International (GCI)
     Youth for Action


                                 Decision 8/2

                  Designation of a permanent secretariat and
                       arrangements for its functioning

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
decides:

     (a)  To transmit to its next session the draft decision submitted by
Uganda at the seventh session on behalf of States Members of the United
Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China
(A/AC.241/WG.I(VII)/L.1);

     (b)  To invite members of the Committee to submit to the interim
secretariat by 1 June 1996 written comments regarding the note by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations on the administrative arrangements for
the permanent secretariat contained in document A/AC.241/44;

     (c)  To request relevant international organizations and departments and
programmes of the United Nations, as well as agencies of the United Nations
system, particularly those referred to in paragraph 8 of the note by the
Secretary-General, to submit to the interim secretariat in writing by
1 June 1996:  (i) expressions of interest in providing overall administrative
support to the permanent secretariat; (ii) information to justify this
interest and to describe the possible nature of such support on the basis of
the criteria in annex I to document A/AC.241/34; and/or (iii) indications of
which of these support services could also be provided as an adjunct to
overall arrangements between the Conference of the Parties and the United
Nations of the type outlined in the note by the Secretary-General;

     (d)  To request Governments interested in hosting the permanent
secretariat to submit the details of their offers, pursuant to its decision
7/5, prior to 1 June 1996;

     (e)  To request the interim secretariat to compile the materials referred
to in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) above, and to circulate the compilation as
far in advance of the ninth session of the Committee as possible;

     (f)  To consider this question further at its ninth session on the basis
of the compilation by the interim secretariat and documents A/AC.241/34,
A/AC.241/44 and A/AC.241/WG.I(VII)/L.1.


                                 Decision 8/3

                             Programme and budget

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
having considered the question of programme and budget at its eighth session,
requests the interim secretariat to submit for consideration at the last
session of the Committee prior to the first session of the Conference of the
Parties a draft programme of work of the Conference of the Parties and the
budget estimates of the Convention for the first financial period following
the first session of the Conference of the Parties, using as a basis document
A/AC.241/46 and taking into account the views on this question expressed by
delegations at the eighth session of the Committee, as well as consideration
by the Committee of financial rules and of the designation of a permanent
secretariat and arrangements for its functioning.


                                 Decision 8/4

            Draft financial rules of the Conference of the Parties,
              its subsidiary bodies and the permanent secretariat

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
having considered, at its eighth session, the question of the financial rules
discussed in document A/AC.241/45, invites the interim secretariat to submit a
revised version of the financial rules to the Committee at its ninth session,
taking into account views expressed by delegations at the eighth session.


                                 Decision 8/5

        Identification of an organization to house the Global Mechanism

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
having considered, at its eighth session, the note by the Secretariat on the
identification of an organization to house the Global Mechanism (A/AC.241/43):

     (a)  Invites members of the Committee, as well as regional and other
interest groups, to submit to the interim secretariat by 1 May 1996 written
comments on the functions of the Global Mechanism;

     (b)  Requests the interim secretariat to compile for consideration at the
ninth session of the Committee the submissions referred to in paragraph (a),
as well as comments on this question made by delegations and groups of
delegations at the eighth session and any additional information received from
relevant institutions;

     (c)  Also requests the interim secretariat to prepare for the ninth
session a preliminary negotiating text on the functions of the Global
Mechanism and the criteria for selection of an institution to house it,
bearing in mind comments made by delegations and groups of delegations at the
eighth session, and the compilation referred to in paragraph (b).


                                 Decision 8/6

           Organization of scientific and technological cooperation

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
noting the progress made in Working Group II on the organization of scientific
and technological cooperation, requests the interim secretariat to prepare for
the ninth session:

     (a)  A revised draft decision on the terms of reference of the Committee
on Science and Technology reflecting the deliberations in Working Group II at
the eighth session;

     (b)  Draft decisions on the roster of independent experts and on ad hoc
panels based on comments and suggestions made at the eighth session and on any
further views that might be communicated by its members to the interim
secretariat, in writing, by 15 April 1996.


                                 Decision 8/7

           Draft rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
noting the progress in Working Group II on the draft rules of procedure of the
Conference of the Parties on the basis of document A/AC.241/48, requests the
interim secretariat to prepare a revised text for the ninth session reflecting
the deliberations in Working Group II during the eighth session.


                                 Decision 8/8

            Procedures for communication of information and review
                               of implementation

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
noting the progress accomplished in Working Group II on the draft decision of
the Conference of the Parties on communication of information and review of
implementation contained in document A/AC.241/49, as well as the relationship
that exists between this subject and the work being done in other forums with
respect to the identification of benchmarks and indicators to measure progress
in the implementation of the Convention, requests the interim secretariat to
prepare, for the ninth session, a revised draft decision of the Conference of
the Parties on this subject reflecting the deliberations in Working Group II
at the eighth session, and to report on the work being done on benchmarks and
indicators.


                                 Decision 8/9

                  Procedures for conciliation and arbitration

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
having considered the question of the adoption of annexes on conciliation and
arbitration on the basis of document A/AC.241/50, decides to postpone further
consideration of this item to the first session of the Conference of the
Parties, and invites members of the Committee to provide comments in writing
to the interim secretariat.


                                 Decision 8/10

               Procedures to resolve questions on implementation

     The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
having considered the question of the procedures to resolve questions on
implementation on the basis of document A/AC.241/51, decides to postpone
further consideration of this item to the first session of the Conference of
the Parties, and invites members of the Committee to provide comments in
writing to the interim secretariat.


                                 APPENDIX III

                          Conclusions by the Chairman


                             A.  Water and energy

             The need to take an integrated approach in combating
             desertification:  the contributions of water
                 management and alternative energy strategies

1.   A central feature of the Convention is the need to see land management
as part of a broader spectrum of sectoral policies, including water, energy,
trade, population and various elements of socio-economic policy-making.  This
is also in line with the general approach promoted by Agenda 21.

2.   It is highly desirable that the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee,
and later the Conference of the Parties, should try to strengthen this
horizontal approach.  At the eighth session, therefore, the Chairman invited
Dr. Gunilla Bjo"rklund of the Stockholm Environment Institute, to present the
ongoing work on a comprehensive water assessment, and Dr. Robert Hamwey of the
International Academy of Environment to give a presentation of energy issues
related to the drylands.

3.   The Committee followed these presentations with keen interest.  The
presentations were circulated to the Committee during the session.


                              B.  Special action

                         1.  Urgent action for Africa

4.   The discussion on urgent action for Africa was structured to concentrate
first on southern Africa and then successively on East Africa and the Horn of
Africa, North Africa, and West Africa.  Subregional organizations made
introductory statements, which were followed by national presentations and
comments by the donor community.  These statements reflected considerable
activity in the various regions and indicated the seriousness with which all
concerned parties approach the interim action for Africa and the preparations
for the entry into force of the Convention.  A great number of countries
indicated that the processes of ratification of the Convention were well under
way.

5.   Regional differences were highlighted during the discussion.  However,
it was obvious that a number of general points were particularly relevant at
this stage; they are outlined below.

Effectiveness of activities at the national level

6.   Affected countries in Africa are putting in place the machinery to
prepare national action programmes.  Most have set up national coordinating
bodies of government officials, although this has not necessarily translated
into Convention implementation receiving a high enough priority in national
development programmes.

7.   Affected countries have also begun to involve other interested parties
at the national level, particularly non-governmental organizations.  Some have
also taken steps to involve local communities through devices such as district
workshops.  Much remains to be done, however, to strengthen the bottom-up
approach by ensuring full participation of non-governmental organizations and
local communities in all countries.  The people in the villages have to see
that the Convention can change their reality.

8.   In one or two cases, countries have progressed to the stage of holding
national forums involving the donor community.  In general, however, efforts
to involve donor countries and multilateral agencies fully in the design of
action programmes have not yet borne fruit.  Donor coordination activities,
such as "chef de fil" arrangements, are in their infancy.  The establishment
of effective coordination mechanisms and a well-functioning partnership with
the donor community under the Convention is a complex process.  Field-level
assistance organizations need more information about the role of the
Convention in their programming.

9.   With strong support from the interim secretariat, bilateral donors and
United Nations agencies, national awareness seminars are widespread and are
doing a good job of educating key national actors, in both the public and
private sectors, about the significance of the Convention.  Media coverage of
these events has been good.  We now need to see how to follow up with a
continuing effort at public education.  Results in some countries are
promising in this respect.

10.  More needs to be done to ensure the integration of national action
programmes with other sustainable development programmes, such as the National
Environmental Action Programmes (NEAPS) and the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) national conservation strategies.  Action in a
few countries illustrates what might be possible.

11.  Bilateral and multilateral donor organizations described many
significant initiatives to provide funding and technical assistance
specifically for the urgent action in Africa.  These need to be explained
further so as to facilitate their utilization by affected countries and their
subregional organizations.

12.  Non-governmental organizations are doing a good job of networking and
organizing themselves, through devices such as focal points, to support
Convention implementation.  They need continued support to enhance their
local-level activities.

Effectiveness of activities at the subregional level

13.  The process of preparing subregional action programmes is off to a good
start.  Initial meetings, with good participation from both Governments and
non-governmental organizations, have already been held and elements of action
programmes have been defined.  In some cases, however, participation of the
international community in these events could have been better.

14.  Workshops to involve media have been a notable feature of subregional
meetings.  It would be interesting to see what results have flowed in terms of
increased and higher quality media coverage of the Convention.  In this
context we have also heard encouraging examples of national action to mobilize
media interest.

15.  Some subregional organizations suggest the need for "enabling funds" to
help them pursue action programme preparations.

Lessons for future implementation of the Convention

16.  Coordination between affected countries and international partners is
critical but difficult.  We need to see more clearly how this should work.

17.  More thought needs to be given to the difficult problem of ensuring that
subregional activities reinforce local action.

18.  Exchange of information and meetings among different subregions can have
positive results.

19.  Implementation of the Convention and food-security concerns should be
tightly interrelated.  A first step in this process would be integration of
Convention concerns into the agenda of the World Food Summit.

20.  More thought should be given to putting together the various elements of
Convention implementation holistically, integrating issues such as land and
water, energy, integrated rural development and the role of women.


                       2.  Action taken in other regions

Interim action in the Asian region

21.  It is encouraging to note that there are now many serious efforts under
way for the implementation of the Convention in the Asian region.  In
particular, it was noted that a concept paper for implementation is being
prepared and will be discussed at the special meeting organized by India.

22.  The large countries of Asia, in particular India and China, gave special
presentations of the action undertaken.  There was also a contribution by a
representative of Chinese non-governmental organizations.  In both these
countries ambitious programmes are being implemented.  In particular it was
noted that successful action will require a firm commitment by Governments
both at national and subregional levels; awareness-building efforts, including
within the education sector, to enable local populations to contribute to
combating desertification in an efficient way; particular efforts to
disseminate and use technologies that are efficient and appropriate in the
framework of combating desertification.

23.  The countries of the Aral Sea region underlined the dimensions of the
disaster of the Aral Sea, both with regard to the physical consequences and
the impact on populations, in particular the health situation.  They also
underlined the importance of the cooperative action now under way in the
region, and referred in particular to the recent Nukus Declaration and the
preparations under way for a regional convention.  It is also obvious that
action in the Aral Sea region would need the support of the Convention and
that therefore different ways of linking the Convention to the Aral Sea
situation should be explored.

24.  The various countries in the region of West Asia emphasized that recent
political developments have opened the way for new action to combat
desertification and for new possibilities of efficient cooperation.  They also
pointed out that their joint experiences in dealing with dryland issues would
be brought to bear on the problems in other regions, particularly in Africa.

25.  It was pointed out by representatives of the Transcaucasus region and of
the Russian Federation, that the problems in that part of the world are
serious and warrant attention under the Convention.  In particular, it was
mentioned that a European Arid Land Centre is under establishment in the
Republic of Kalmykia and that it is hoped that this initiative would receive
international support.  Furthermore, the representative of the Russian
Federation commented on the possible accession of Russia to the Convention and
the Chairman underlined that he would make all efforts to facilitate such
accession.

26.  All countries in the region that participated in the discussion
underlined that they saw the Convention as an important element in supporting
their work to combat desertification.  A number of them indicated that early
ratification or accession is expected.

27.  A statement was made on behalf of Asian non-governmental organizations. 
More generally, the importance of the role of non-governmental organizations
in the Asian region was stressed.  It was noted that recently an important
meeting of non-governmental organizations had been held in Pakistan.

Interim action in the Latin American region

28.  A full report was given by the delegations of Costa Rica and Argentina
on the first regional Conference on the Convention, which was held recently at
Buenos Aires.  This meeting was successful and demonstrated that there is very
strong support for the Convention in the region.  Work is now going on to
draft a regional action programme for Latin America and the Caribbean to
support the national action programmes and facilitate coordination on science
and technology.  Special emphasis was put on the need to mobilize external and
regional financial resources.  Among other priority actions, the Conference
had defined the need to speed up the ratification and accession process, and
to establish national action programmes and national focal points.

29.  Several delegations of Latin American countries made statements in which
they supported the conclusions of the Conference at Buenos Aires.  They also
informed the Committee of the important action that is now being undertaken at
the national level and of the efforts under way for early ratification of the
Convention.  The Committee also heard a statement on behalf of Latin American
non-governmental organizations.

30.  It was proposed that the next session of the Committee should aim at a
systematic discussion of the situation in the various subregions of the Latin
American region.

31.  Taken together, the various statements gave an encouraging picture of
intense activity in Latin America within the framework of interim action under
the Convention.  The wish was expressed that close contacts should be
established between Latin America and other regions.

Interim action in the northern Mediterranean region

32.  The delegation of Spain made a presentation of the measures taken in the
region as a result of the regional meeting in Almeri'a, Spain, in June 1995.

33.  It was noted that the European Union is elaborating a number of
important programmes in the Mediterranean region and that the Convention will
have an important impact on these programmes.  The northern Mediterranean
countries are also ready to extend cooperation in the Mediterranean region.

34.  A procedural proposal was made regarding the representation of the
northern Mediterranean region in the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties.


          C.  Review of the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds

35.  The Committee held a discussion on agenda item 5, "Review of the
situation as regards extrabudgetary funds" at its 5th and 6th meetings, on 7
and 12 February.  At the 5th meeting, the Executive Secretary of the interim
secretariat introduced documents A/AC.241/52 and Add.1.

36.  The representative of the Netherlands informed the Committee that, in
conformity with the pledge made by Minister Pronk, his Government would be
contributing the equivalent of US$ 600,000.  The speaker also specified that
this contribution was meant to finance, inter alia, the participation of
eligible countries in the sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee and the participation and reinforcement of the capacity of
non-governmental organizations, as well as to support the secretariat's
projects during the interim period.  He finally specified that further
consultation would be carried out with the secretariat on this subject.

37.  The representative of Germany informed the Committee that his country
had finalized the transfer procedure for their pledge of US$ 50,000.

38.  The representative of Canada requested the Secretariat to improve its
reporting system regarding expenditures incurred under the Trust Fund.  The
representative of the interim secretariat in charge of budget and
administration explained in this regard that United Nations procedures did not
allow much flexibility, but also stressed that the secretariat was ready to
discuss with interested delegations any specific issue.

39.  The Chairman of the Committee also invited all interested delegations to
contact the interim secretariat on matters related to the status of
extrabudgetary resources, in order to get all the details needed.

40.  Finally, the Chairman expressed his gratitude to the members of the
Committee for their generosity and stressed the importance of their
contribution to both Committee funds.

                                  APPENDIX IV

        Draft provisional agenda for the ninth session of the Committee


     1.  Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.

     2.  Preparation for the Conference of the Parties.

     3.  Special action:

         (a)   Urgent action for Africa;

         (b)   Action taken in the Latin American, Asian and northern
               Mediterranean regions.

     4.  Status of signature and ratification of the Convention.

     5.  Review of the situation as regards extrabudgetary funds.

     6.  Adoption of the provisional agenda for the tenth session.

     7.  Adoption of the report of the Committee on its ninth session.


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