|TWN Bonn News Update No.8|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:36|
Delays over the agendas for both subsidiary bodies have primarily been over matters related to the decisions reached in Cancun, as to whether the related items have been either properly formulated and reflected or if they have been mandated for consideration by the respective bodies.
While the SBSTA opening plenary began on Monday and was later suspended to allow for informal consultations on certain agenda items, the SBI opening was delayed with consultations still taking place behind the scenes over the revised provisional agenda issued on Monday at 5 pm. (See TWN Update 6 for further details on the SBI).
The SBI finally convened at around 12.30 pm on Tuesday, 7 June but the meeting was suspended about an hour later to allow for further consultations by the Chair and did not reconvene.
A proposal by the SBI Chair to adopt in the interim, the provisional agenda on specific agenda items while informal consultations are held on the status of the remaining items was rejected by the LDCs and Saudi Arabia for not reflecting agenda items which were of interest to them. The LDCs were supported by the African Group and Nicaragua.
Both the SBI and SBSTA are expected to reconvene on Wednesday, 8 June.
Meanwhile, the Ad-hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWGKP) and the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWGLCA) began their meetings on Tuesday. The AWG-KP reconvenes on Wednesday, with two contact groups meetings scheduled, while the AWGLCA will have meetings in informal groups (which are closed to observers) on various issues under the agenda.
At SBSTA on Monday, June 6
Parties could not adopt the provisional agenda following concerns raised by Bolivia over the inclusion of agenda items on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) and Saudi Arabia proposing that the forum on the impact of implementation of response measures on the agenda replace the agenda item on economic and social consequences of response measures.
SBSTA Chair, Mama Konate of Mali suspended the plenary on Monday (6 June) to allow for informal consultations to be held on the REDD issue. He also said that the SBI Chair was holding consultations on the issue of response measures and that the solution reached under the SBI could be imported into SBSTA.
While it is learnt that consultations on REDD have concluded, consultations on the issue of response measures by the SBI Chair were still taking place on Tuesday, 7 June. Hence, the SBSTA plenary has not been reconvened.
At SBI on Tuesday, 7 June
When the SBI plenary opened, its Chair, Mr. Robert Owen Jones from Australia said that he had consulted with Parties on the revised provisional agenda issued on 6 June and that there does not seem to be readiness to adopt the agenda in its entirety. He invited the SBI to consider the interim adoption of the agenda with the following agenda items, viz. 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, while holding consultations as regards the remaining agenda items, with a view to adopting the entire agenda in later plenaries.
In response to the Chair’s proposal, Gambia, speaking for the LDCs in reference to agenda item 8 (which was not included by the Chair for interim adoption) said that this item had been changed in its formulation and indicated it did not properly reflect paragraph 15 of the Cancun decision (1/CP16). In view of the revisions made, Gambia could not adopt the agenda.
(Item 8 of the agenda reads – “ Modalities and guidelines to enable least developed countries and other developing countries to formulate and implement national adaptation plans.)
(Paragraph 15 of the Cancun decision states as follows -. “Decides to hereby establish a process to enable least developed country Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans, building upon their experience in preparing and implementing national adaptation programmes of action, as a means of identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs;” )
The Chair then noted the views of Gambia and said that this would be taken up in informal consultations. Gambia then reiterated that the LDCs could not agree to the adoption of the agenda without including in agenda item 8 the process referred to in the Cancun decision.
The Chair then said that his proposal was for the interim adoption of the agenda without reference to paragraph 8 of the agenda item. Gambia then responded that it was not trying to block the agenda but wanted this agenda item to be agreed to as part of the overall agenda.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, speaking for the African Group supported Gambia as well as Nicaragua.
Saudi Arabia then said that just as Gambia, it could not proceed with the adoption of the agenda before agenda item 11 is included, which is also from the Cancun decision. It said the proposal by the Chair implies that the agenda items that he had not read out (for interim adoption) are held in abeyance subject to further consultations and this it could not go along with. It said that there are different status as regards varies items on the agenda, some of which had clear mandates while some did not and the Chair could not put them all in one basket.
In response, Jones said that he is not proposing to hold matters in abeyance but that the adoption was put on hold pending consultations.
Grenada, for the Alliance of Small Island States, European Union, Australia, US and Colombia supported the proposal by the Chair.
South Africa then proposed that the Chair include agenda item 11 (on the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures) in the list of provisionally adopted items and agenda item 8 with some modification as follows - “Modalities and guidelines for a process to enable least developed countries to formulate and implement national adaptation plans, which could be employed by other developing countries.”
The SBI Chair then proposed the adoption of the provisional agenda with the inclusion of agenda item 8 and 11.
Australia and the United States did not support the South African proposal as they stressed the need for balance. Tanzania said that the proposal by South Africa reflects the Cancun decision and gave its support.
The SBI Chair then reverted to his initial proposal for the interim adoption of the agenda without the inclusion of agenda items 8 and 11 on the understanding for work on the full agenda.
Saudi Arabia said that South Africa had a constructive proposal and it could go along with that proposal and in reference to Australia and the US on the need for balance, it said that agenda items which were not included by the Chair did not seek the balance needed.
Gambia reaffirmed its previous position for a full agenda to be adopted and was not in agreement for the adoption of any interim agenda. It asked the Chair to further consult Parties.
Bolivia wanted the record to reflect that the Cancun decision was adopted with the formal objection one member and the Chair said that this would be so.
The SBI Chair said that he will hold informal consultations and expressed disappointment in not being able to launch the work of the SBI.
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