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Developing countries call for negotiating text to be Party-driven PDF Print
Written by Third World Network   
Monday, 17 August 2009 11:46

Ambassador Lumumba D'aping of Sudan, speaking for the G77 and China said that from now until Parties came to a conclusion, the Group would not mandate the Chair to prepare a text but that it was the responsibility of Parties to do so.

D'aping was speaking at the opening of the intersessional informal consultations of the AWG-LCA which began its first meeting in Bonn, on 10 August 2009. The Bonn session is set to end on 14 August 2009.

The AWG-LCA concluded its sixth session in June 2009 by producing a 200 page revised negotiating text, compiling inputs provided by Parties. Parites had provided inputs to a negotiating text dated 19 May 2009, originally produced by the Chair, Michael Zammit Cutajar, of Malta, at the beginning of the June session.

Cutajar said that the 'August informals' begin the start of a new phase of work on the revised text and continue through the first part of its seventh session in Bangkok, (to be held from 28 September to 9 October. The August informals are considered as the first part of a three-week phase of negotiations on the revised negotiating text.

He said that the proposed outcome of the informal week will be a further revision of the text, for its consideration at the Bangkok session. It was in this regard that the G77 and China stressed the need for a Parties' text rather than a further Chair's text.

Cutajar also proposed that the Bonn session will involve two groups working in parallel everyday to consider the five building blocks of the Bali Action Plan viz. shared-vision, adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance.

The mitigation element will include the consideration of mitigation by developed and developing countries and further sub-groups dealing with the issue of forests, cooperative sectoral approaches, market-mechanisms and economic and social consequences of response measures .

The G77 and China had a counter proposal to that proposed by the LCA Chair. Ambassador Lumumba D'aping said that the task for the Parties now is to get into direct negotiations to make real progress. He said that the massive text should be reduced and Parties should start full discussions to reach for reduction. There was need to reach common agreement or understanding to eliminate duplication, correct misrepresentations, and omissions in the current text. Time allocation must be sufficient to do this.

D'aping said that the timetable suggested by the Chair was not workable and proposed that each topic be allocated 3 hours to have general dicussions on substantive issues. Otherwise, it would be difficult to delve into the text he said. He proposed that topics be considered in half-day blocks, beginning with technology, finance, adaptation and mitigation during the first part of the week, and shared vision be dealt with at the end of the week.

Cutajar then proposed that Parties meet informally to consider the proposal of the G77 and China on the organisation of work. Later in the afternoon, Parties met to discuss the topic of 'technology and capacity building' for 3 hours.

The session was facilitated by Kishan Kumarsingh from Trinidad and Tobago. Kumarsingh said that the goal of the session was to further advance substantive issues on the text and to revise the text, modifying it in the direction of consolidation and convergence.

Kumarsingh said that the aim was not to agree to the language in the text but rather reach agreement on the concepts. Once there is clarity on the point of convergence, Parties can work on points of divergence, with the aim of reducing the divergence. He said that there were three key themes – what are future actions on technology transfer for the Copenhagen agreement; how to implement the future actions and what are the supporting arrangements that are needed. He suggested that Parties consider the 'what' issue first, and gain convergence and then move to the 'how' question.

Philippines, spoke for G77 and China and was assisted by Ghana. It said that the objective of the Bali Action Plan is for the full, effective, and sustained implementation of the Convention and to address the implementation gaps of which technology transfer is most glaring. There was need to consider which articles of the Convention are being implemented by the proposals. Any proposal which is inconsistent with the Convention or the Bali Action Plan will not be considered by the Group as relevant. The Convention has been in existence for the past 15 years. On technology transfer and development, there has been work done by the Expert Group on Technology Transfer as well as the development of frameworks on implementation. 15 years is enough to look at the issue of 'what'. What Parties need to look at now is how it will be implemented and financed. The Group was guided by the proposals on institutional arrangements. This is an essential part of the agreed outcome. There was also need to also consider the barriers to technology transfer and development including the issue of intellectual property rights (IPRs).

It said that there was clearly a need for policy debate as there was divergence between Parties. What developing countries want are actions and institutional arrangements. What developed countries want is something else, such as technology needs assessments, enabling environments, workshops etc.

Ghana, also speaking for G77 and China said that there was need to be cautious in looking at paragraphs in the text. It said that some paragraphs appear to address the same issue, but their intention is different. It gave that example of technology action plans that would be implemented by an executive body which are different from action plans implemented by Parties. Hence, there was need to appreciate the differences.

Tanzania spoke for the G77 and China on the issue of capacity-building. It stressed that new areas of capacity buiding needs are important. There was a need to strengthen national institutions in the areas of systemic observation, research, modelling, disaster preparedness, and capacity buiding for monitoring.

China suggested three areas of priorities – institutional arrangements that are critical to promote action in relation to technology transfer under the UNFCCC; a fund mechanism to ensure financing for technology transfer and an international action plan that deals with elements like research, development and deployment as well as the IPR issue, performance assessment and innovation centres. It said that details are in the G77 and China proposals.

India said that while there was need for consolidation, it was important not to leave out ideas. Ideas may seem similar, yet there are variations. There was need to identify which paragraphs and proposals are inconsistent with the Bali Action Plan and the Convention. Once those prospoals are eliminated, Parties would have made some progress. Parties are up against fundamental divergences. Parties have different ideas on what is meant by technology transfer. Developing countries mean affordable access which involves reform of the IPR regime. Also, there is need for collaborative research and development capacity across the board of technologies and not just those which are cherry-picked by countries. On capacity-building, it was talking about transformational technologies and not marginal development of technologies. There is need for global collaborative projects in areas where technologies are still rudimentary.

South Africa speaking for the Africa Group said that there was need for attribution of proposals by Parties as there were subtle differences between proposals by developed and developing countries. It said that there was need to remove duplication in the text and for proposals that are not compatible with the Convention and the Bali Action Plan. Technology transfer is a commitment by developed countries and what is important is enhanced implementation. Hence, focus should be on addressing the barriers such as finance and IPRs.

The EU said that it saw four areas of convergence – technology needs assessments, capacity-buiding, the enabling enviroment and the issue of technology research, development, deployment and cooperation.

On the suggestion by Philippines and South Africa that it would be useful to have attributions in the text as to which proposals came from which Parties, the US and Australia did not support the idea.

In conclusion, the facilitator suggested that interested Parties can meet together to see how to move the dicussion forward.

The facilitator informed Parties that another dicussion will follow on technology, in paralell with the topic of mitigation.


Source: TWN Bonn News Update No.1
11 August 2009
Published by Third World Network

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