UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN COUNTRIES EXPERIENCING DROUGHT, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA, WITH ANNEXESSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 104-29
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[Senate Treaty Document 104-29] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] 104th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 104-29 _______________________________________________________________________ UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN COUNTRIES EXPERIENCING DROUGHT, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA, WITH ANNEXES __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN THOSE COUNTRIES EXPERIENCING SERIOUS DROUGHT AND/OR DESERTIFICATION, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA, WITH ANNEXES, ADOPTED AT PARIS, JUNE 17, 1994, AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES ON OCTOBER 14, 1994 August 2, 1996.--Convention was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, August 2, 1996. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, with Annexes, adopted at Paris, June 17, 1994, and signed by the United States on October 14, 1994. The report of the Department of State is also enclosed for the information of the Senate. The purpose of the Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought on arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid lands through effective action at all levels. In particular, the Convention addresses the fundamental causes of famine and food insecurity in Africa, by stimulating more effective partnership between governments, local communities, nongovernmental organizations, and aid donors, and by encouraging the dissemination of information derived from new technology (e.g., early warning of impending drought) to farmers. The United States has strongly supported the Convention's innovative approach to combating dryland degradation. I believe it will help Africans and others to make better use of fragile resources without requiring increased development assistance. Ratification by the United States would promote effective implementation of the Convention and is likely to encourage similar action by other countries whose participation would also promote effective implementation. United States obligations under the Convention would be met under existing law and ongoing assistance programs. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Convention and its Annexes, with the declaration described in the accompanying report of the Secretary of State, and give its advice and consent to ratification. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, June 21, 1996. The President, The White House. I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to transmittal to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, with Annexes, adopted at Paris June 17, 1994, and signed by the United States on October 14, 1994. The purpose of the Convention is to combat desertification (i.e., land degradation) and mitigate the effects of drought on arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid lands through effective action at all levels, including local, national, regional, and global levels, particularly in Africa. The central objectives of the Convention are to promote the sustainable use of drylands world-wide, but especially in Africa, to make more efficient use of aid resources, thereby helping to solve Africa's and other affected regions' chronic hunger problems. In particular, the Convention addresses a fundamental cause of famine and food insecurity in Africa, by stimulating more effective partnership between governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and aid donors, and by encouraging the dissemination of information derived from new technology (e.g., early warning of impending drought) to farmers. Desertification affects about one-sixth of the world's population and about one-quarter of the total land area of the world. Over a million hectares of Africa, 73 percent of its drylands, are affected. Another 1.4 million hectares are affected in Asia. Dryland degradation is an underlying cause of recurrent African famine (as during the great Sahelian drought of 1971-73 and 1984-85). The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that desertification costs the world $42 billion a year, and the human cost is higher. The livelihoods of more than a billion people--almost a fifth of the entire population of the globe--are now at risk. Mass starvation, civil conflict, the relocation of millions of refugees--social crises arising from the dangerous convergence of poverty and dwindling natural resources--are a fundamental challenge to the international community. By focusing on desertification issues now, the United States and the international community may reduce the level of emergency relief, civil conflicts and outflows of refugees later; and by taking a leading role on desertification issues, the United States can strengthen its partnerships throughout Africa and other affected regions. The Department of State's support for this Convention is based on both global and Africa-specific considerations. At the global level, the Convention will stimulate cooperation on technical issues such as climate prediction and on dryland management. For Africa and other affected developed areas, it will encourage and support a more effective anti- desertification effort drawing on ``lessons learned'' from past aid failures and aided by new technologies such as satellite early warning systems. The Convention also gives new recognition to the essential roles of both village-level and NGO participation in policy planning and implementation. The Convention contains four basic types of commitments: --those of all Parties to adopt an integrated approach to desertification and to strengthen international cooperation; --those of Parties affected by desertification (which includes the United States) to have strategies to address desertification and to promote public awareness in this regard; --those of developing-country Parties affected by desertification to prepare substantial National Action Programs that identify causes of, and measures to address, such desertification; and --those of developed-country Parties to provide support for developing-country efforts to combat desertification. The Convention contains four Regional Implementation Annexes addressing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Northern Mediterranean Region. They set forth in detail how the Convention is to be implemented in those regions, in particular within the context of National Action Programs. With respect to implementation of the Convention in Africa, to which the Convention assigns a priority, each participating African country is to coordinate the preparation, negotiation, and implementation of a National Action Program and may involve, as appropriate, other Parties and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Convention's provisions governing the adoption of additional Regional Implementation Annexes gives the United States the option to make entry into force for the United States of a subsequent Regional Implementation Annex or of an amendment to a Regional Implementation Annex subject to its express consent to be bound. Therefore, I recommend that the United States include the following declaration at the time of deposit of its instrument of ratification: In accordance with Article 34(4), the United States declares that, with respect to the United States, any additional regional implementation annex or any amendment to any regional implementation annex shall enter into force only upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with respect thereto. Following the model of many other international environmental agreements to which the United States is a party, the Convention establishes a Conference of the Parties, a Secretariat, and a subsidiary body for scientific and technological advice. In addition, it calls for the Conference of the Parties to designate a ``Global Mechanism'' which, while not itself a funding source, is to inventory and provide advice on possible sources of, and innovative approaches to, such funding. The United States has strongly supported the Convention's innovative approach to combating dryland degradation. The Department of State believes it will help Africans and others to make better use of fragile resources without requiring increased development assistance. African governments are counting on U.S. continued support for the Convention. One hundred and fifteen States signed the Convention during the period it was open for signature. To date, thirty-one States have indicated their consent to be bound. The Convention will enter into force on the ninetieth day after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession. Early ratification by the United States will demonstrate to the rest of the world the U.S. commitment to combating desertification and is likely to encourage the participation necessary for effective implementation of the Convention. Ratification of the Convention is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and economic and environmental interests. Accompanying this Report is an Article-by-Article analysis of the Convention, including its Annexes. I recommend that this Convention, with Annexes, be transmitted to the Senate as soon as possible for its advice and consent to ratification. Respectfully submitted, Warren Christopher. Enclosure: As stated. ARTICLE-BY-ARTICLE ANALYSIS OF THE CONVENTION Preamble The Preamble acknowledges, inter alia, that desertification and drought are problems of global dimension in that they affect all regions of the world and that joint action of the international community is needed to combat desertification and/or mitigate the effects of drought. It further notes the particular tragic consequences of these phenomena in Africa and expresses concern over the impact of desertification and drought on affected countries in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus. Part I introduction Article 1 (Use of Terms) This Article is largely self-explanatory. Four definitions of particular interest are ``desertification'', ``combatting desertification'', ``drought'', and ``affected countries.'' ``Desertification,'' the subject of the Convention, is defined as ``land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub- humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.'' ``Combatting Desertification'' is defined as including ``activities which are part of the integrated development of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas for sustainable development which are aimed at: (i) prevention and/or reduction of land degradation; (ii) rehabilitation of partly degraded land; (iii) reclamation of desertified land.'' ``Drought'' is defined as ``the naturally occurring phenomenon that exists when precipitation has been significantly below normal recorded levels, causing serious hydrological imbalances that adversely affect land resource production systems.'' ``Affected countries'' are defined as countries whose lands include ``affected areas,'' which in turn are defined as ``arid, semi-arid and/or dry sub-humid areas affected or threatened by desertification.'' The United States is understood to be an affected country for purposes of the Convention. Article 2 (Objective) Article 2 establishes as the objective of the Convention combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements. The Article recognizes that achievement of this objective will involve long-term integrated strategies, particularly at the local level, to improve living conditions. Article 3 (Principles) This Article contains several concepts by which the Parties are to be ``guided'' in their actions to achieve the objective of the Convention and to implement its provisions. The inclusion of the term ``inter alia'' in the introductory phrase reflects that the list that follows is not intended to be an exhaustive list of relevant concepts that may guide the Parties. Most notably, however, it includes cooperation among all levels of government, communities, NGOs and landholders. Part II general provisions Article 4 (General obligations) Article 4 contains general obligations that apply to all Parties. Paragraph 1 provides that all Parties may implement their obligations under the Convention either individually or jointly, either through existing or future bilateral or multilateral arrangements, or a combination thereof. Paragraph 2 lists a number of actions that all Parties must take in pursuing the objective of the Convention. These include, for example: --adopting an integrated approach addressing the physical, biological and socio-economic aspects of the processes of desertification and drought; --strengthening subregional, regional and international cooperation; --cooperating within relevant intergovernmental organizations; and --promoting the use of existing bilateral and multilateral financial mechanisms and arrangements that mobilize and channel substantial financial resources to affected developing-country Parties in combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The United States is already implementing the actions contained in this provision. Paragraph 3 provides that affected developing-country Parties are eligible for assistance in the implementation of the Convention. Article 5 (Obligations of Affected-Country Parties) Article 5 contains additional obligations of affected- country Parties. Such a Party (which would include the United States) is to: --give due priority to combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of drought, and allocate adequate resources in accordance with its circumstances and capabilities; --establish strategies and priorities, within the framework of sustainable development plans and/or policies, to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought; --address the underlying causes of desertification and pay special attention to the socio-economic factors contributing to desertification processes; --promote awareness and facilitate the participation of local populations in efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought; and --provide an enabling environment by strengthening, as appropriate, relevant existing legislation and, where they do not exist, enacting new laws and establishing long-term policies and action programs. The United States already more than meets these requirements through a variety of existing measures, including measures under statutory authorities such as the National Forest Management Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 471 et seq., Pub. L. No. 94-588; the Multiple-Use-Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, 16 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 528-531, Pub. L. No. 86-517; the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 2001 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-192; the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, 16 U.S.C. 590 et seq., 49 Stat. 163 (1935); the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1451 et seq., Pub. L. No. 92-538; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq., Pub. L. No. 94-579; the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1600 et seq., Pub. L. No. 93-378; the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-514; the International Forestry Cooperation Act of 1990, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 4501 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-513; the Global Climate Change Prevention Act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6701 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-624; and the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 2101 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-313. Article 6 (Obligations of Developed Country Parties) Article 6 contains additional obligations of developed country Parties. Such Parties are to: --actively support, as agreed, individually or jointly, the efforts of affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, and the least-developed countries, to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought; --provide substantial financial resources and other forms of support to assist affected developing-country Parties, particularly those in Africa, effectively to develop and implement their own long-term plans and strategies to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought; --promote the mobilization of new and additional funding pursuant to Article 20, paragraph 2(b), described below; --encourage the mobilization of funding from the private sector and other non-governmental sources; and --promote and facilitate access by affected-country Parties to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how. The United States has traditionally lent its support (including financial support), both bilaterally and through multilateral fora, to efforts in developing countries, including in Africa, to address desertification and drought. The United States has also participated in recent efforts to identify appropriate ways for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to provide new and additional resources to fund the incremental costs of implementing anti-desertification measures that relate to the GEF's four focal areas. The commitment to provide financial resources, which does not require any particular level of funding, would be met through periodic appropriations for bilateral and/or multilateral assistance (such as through the GEF). The commitment to promote and facilitate technology transfer can be implemented through the marketplace and any additional measures (such as technology cooperation seminars) that the government deems appropriate. U.S. NGOs, supported by tax-free donations and in some cases by USAID funding, will continue to play a major role in supporting anti-desertification work supportive of the Convention, especially in Africa. Article 7 (Priority for Africa) Article 7 provides that, in implementing the Convention, the Parties are to give priority to affected African country Parties, in light of the particular situation prevailing in that region. The special needs of Africa were recognized by the international community at the 1992 United Nations conference on Environment and Development (the Rio ``Earth Summit'') in light of persistent and particularly severe desertification and drought problem in that region. As Article 7 makes clear, this priority is not intended to lead to the neglect of developing- country Parties in other regions that are affected or threatened by desertification. Indeed, as discussed below, Regional Implementation Annexes for the Asian, Latin American and the Caribbean, and Mediterranean regions--in addition to the Annex for Africa--now form an integral part of the Convention. Article 8 (Relationship with Other Agreements) Paragraph 1 calls upon Parties to encourage the coordination of activities under the Convention and, if they are Parties to them, under other relevant international agreements (such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Such coordination is intended to maximize benefit from currently uncoordinated activities and to avoid duplication of effort. Paragraph 2 provides that the Convention shall not affect the rights and obligations of any Party deriving from a bilateral, regional or international agreement into which it has entered prior to the entry into force of the Convention for it. This paragraph was intended to ensure that the Convention supplements, rather than supersedes, existing agreements. Part III action programs, scientific and technical cooperation and supporting measures Article 9 (Basic Approach) This Article contains the core obligation for affected developing country Parties (i.e., Parties that are eligible for assistance under the Convention). It requires each such Party to prepare, make public, and implement a ``National Action Program,'' further elaborated in Article 10, as the central element of a strategy to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. Such programs are to utilize, to the extent possible, existing relevant successful plans and programs, and subregional and regional action programs. They are to be updated through a continuing participatory process on the basis of lessons from field action and research; further, the preparation of such programs is to be closely interlinked with other efforts to formulate national policies for sustainable development. Parties that are ``affected countries'' but are not developing countries (such as the United States) are not required to prepare National Action Programs. Article 10 (National Action Programs) This Article sets forth the purpose and the basic content of National Action Programs. The purpose of such programs is to identify the factors contributing to, and practical measures necessary to combat, desertification and drought. Programs are to specify the respective roles of government, local communities and land users and the resources available and needed. Further, they are to: --incorporate long-term strategies; --allow for future modifications in response to changing circumstances; --give particular attention to preventive measures; --enhance national climatological, meteorological, and hydrological capabilities and the means to provide for drought early warning; --promote policies and strengthen institutional frameworks that develop coordination between the donor community, governments at all levels, local populations and community groups; --provide for effective participation at the local, national, and regional levels by NGOs and local populations in policy planning, decision-making, implementation, and review of programs; and --require regular review of, and progress reports on, their implementation. The Article also sets forth an illustrative list of measures that may, but need not, form a part of any National Action Program, e.g., sustainable irrigation programs, drought contingency plans. Article 11 (Subregional and Regional Action Programs) This Article calls upon those affected-country Parties that are required to prepare National Action Programs under Articles 9 and 10 (which does not include the United States) to consult and cooperate to prepare, as appropriate, Subregional and/or Regional Action Programs to harmonize, complement, and increase the efficiency of National Action Programs, e.g., through agreed joint programs for sustainable management of transboundary natural resources. Article 12 (International Cooperation) This Article encourages affected-country Parties, in collaboration with other Parties and the international community, to cooperate to ensure promotion of an enabling international environment in the implementation of the Convention covering, e.g., fields of technology transfer, scientific research, information collection. The United States has been a leader in these areas for a long time. Article 13 (Support for the Elaboration and Implementation of Action Programs) This Article sets forth a list of measures which support National Action Programs, e.g., financial cooperation to provide predictability that permits long-term planning, use of cooperation mechanisms which better enable support at the local level, including action though NGOs. Article 14 (Coordination in the Elaboration and Implementation of Action Programs) This Article calls upon Parties to work closely together, directly and through relevant intergovernmental organizations, in the elaboration and implementation of National Action Programs, particularly through the development of ``operational mechanisms'' at the national and field levels that ensure cooperation among developed- and developing-country Parties and relevant intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. The proper use of such mechanisms will maximize the impact of assistance, avoid duplication of effort, and harmonize disparate approaches. The United States is already implementing this commitment through USAID's ongoing efforts to work with other donors to ensure that donors are not duplicating efforts. The USAID has a keen interest in the implementation of National Action Programs to combat desertification and works with international organizations such as the World Bank and the Development Assistance Committee to support programs that focus on multiple linkages among the environment, population growth, poverty, public health, market, public and non-governmental institutions, and social culture, and break the negative linkages between development and the environment. Article 15 (Regional Implementation Annexes) This Article provides that elements for incorporation in National Action Programs are to be selected and adapted to the socio-economic, geographical and climatic factors applicable to affected Parties or regions; each Regional Implementation Annex is to contain guidelines for the preparation of action programs and their exact focus and content for the particular region and subregions. Article 16 (Information Collection, Analysis and Exchange) In order to promote early warning and advance planning for periods of adverse climatic variation, this Article calls for Parties to integrate and coordinate the collection, analysis, and exchange of data relevant to systematic observation of land degradation in affected areas. The Article calls upon Parties, as appropriate, to take steps such as facilitating and strengthening the function of an existing global network of institutions and facilities for the collection, analysis and exchange of information. Article 17 (Research and Development) Article 17 calls for promotion of technical and scientific cooperation in the fields of combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought through appropriate national, subregional, regional and international institutions. To achieve this objective, the Parties are to support, according to their respective capabilities, research activities that, e.g., contribute to increased knowledge of the processes leading to desertification and drought with a view towards combating drought and desertification, achieve improved productivity of drylands and the sustainable use and management of resources, and address needs of local populations. The United States currently conducts domestic and international research on desertification and related fields pursuant to numerous authorities, e.g., the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1641 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-307; the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 1421 et seq., at Sec. 3291, Pub. L. No. 101-624; the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1861 et seq., 64 Stat. 149; and the Global Change Research Act of 1990, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 292 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-606. Article 18 (Transfer, Acquisition, Adaptation and Development of Technology) Paragraph 1 creates a general obligation with respect to the transfer and acquisition of technology. It generally obligates the Parties, as mutually agreed and in accordance with their respective national legislation and/or policies, to promote, finance and/or facilitate the financing of the transfer, acquisition, adaptation and development of technologies that are relevant to combating desertification and/or mitigating the effects of drought. It further specifies that Parties are, in particular, to take steps such as fully utilizing relevant national and international information systems and clearinghouses for the dissemination of information on technologies, and facilitating access to technologies on favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to protect intellectual property rights. The United States currently implements these commitments through bilateral and multilateral aid programs administered by USAID and under the International Cooperation in Global Change Research Act of 1990, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 2951 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-606. Moreover, U.S. participation in activities of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Food And Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the African Development Bank (AFDB), the African Development Fund (AFDF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the GEF are all relevant to the implementation of these obligations. Under paragraph 2, Parties are to take various measures, according to their respective capabilities and subject to their respective national legislation and/or policies, to protect, promote, and use in particular relevant traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices. The United States administers a number of programs aimed at protecting, promoting and using relevant traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices pursuant to a variety of statutory authorities (e.g., the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 2001 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-192, and the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 590 et seq., 49 Stat. 163 (1935)). Federal land-management agencies, in accordance with existing authorities (e.g., the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq., Pub. L. No. 94-579) and policies, seek out and take into consideration relevant traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices as part of their land management planning processes. Furthermore, Native Americans have established their own tribal laws, regulations, policies and practices to provide for the protection of their traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices. Dissemination of such information is done, inter alia, through Native American schools and colleges and land-grant colleges and universities. Article 19 (Capacity Building, Education and Public Awareness) Paragraph 1 recognizes the significance of capacity- building (i.e., institution-building, training and development of relevant local and national capacities) in efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. In this regard, the Article calls upon Parties to promote capacity- building, as appropriate, through steps such as providing full participation at all levels of local people, by strengthening national desertification and drought training and research capacities, and by training members of rural organizations in participatory approaches for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The United States already implements these obligations through multiple aid programs administered by USAID focussed specifically on capacity-building and training of local populations, in particular in Africa. The United States also implements this obligation through its activities in the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, WMO, AFDB, AFDF, IADB, ADB, IFAD, and the GEF. This Article also calls upon Parties to cooperate with each other and through competent intergovernmental organizations and NGOs to undertake and support public awareness and educational programs to promote a world-wide understanding of the causes and effects of desertification and drought. Such efforts will involve, inter alia, access by the public to relevant information, wide public participation, and the expansion, as needed, of educational and adult literacy programs on the identification, conservation and sustainable use and management of the natural resources of affected areas. Lastly, this Article calls on the Conference of Parties to establish and/or strengthen networks of regional education and training centers to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. Article 20 (Financial Resources) Under paragraph 1, all Parties, taking into account their capabilities, are to make every effort to ensure that adequate financial resources are available for programs to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. Paragraph 2 obligates developed-country Parties to: --mobilize financial resources to support the efforts of developing-country Parties affected by desertification; --promote the mobilization of financial resources, including new and additional funding from the GEF of the agreed incremental costs of those activities concerning desertification that relate to its four focal areas; --facilitate the transfer of technology, knowledge, and know- how; and --explore innovative methods for mobilizing and channeling resources, including from the private sector. Paragraph 3 requires affected developing-country Parties (which does not include the United States) to mobilize adequate financial resources for the implementation of their National Action programs. Paragraph 4 further calls upon all Parties to seek continued qualitative improvement of various funding sources, including through the operational mechanisms referred to in Article 14. Under Paragraph 5, all Parties are also to take certain steps to help mobilize the financial resources necessary for affected developing-country Parties to address desertification. These include: rationalizing and strengthening the management of existing resources by using them more effectively and efficiently; giving due priority and attention within the governing bodies of multilateral financial institutions to supporting developing-country Parties in activities that advance Convention implementation; and working to strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation to support national efforts. Paragraph 7 notes that efforts of developing-country Parties to implement effectively their commitments under the Convention will be greatly assisted by the fulfillment by developed-country Parties of their commitments under the Convention relating to financial resources and technology. The United States would implement commitments under this Article through the same means as for Article 6, discussed above. Article 21 (Financial Mechanisms) Unlike certain other environmental agreements (e.g., the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), this Convention does not identify a particular financial mechanism for implementation of the Convention. Rather, Article 21 identifies a multitude of means for promoting effective funding to combat desertification to be considered for adoption by the Conference of the Parties (COP), such as promotion of the availability of financial mechanisms; identification of steps to be taken by affected developing-country Parties to ensure efficient use of available financial resources. A ``Global Mechanism'' is established to promote actions leading to the mobilization and channeling of financial resources, and the COP is instructed to find an organization to house it. The Mechanism is to inventory relevant programs; provide advice on innovative methods of financing and on improving the coordination of cooperative activities at the national level; and provide interested Parties and others with relevant funding information. It should be noted that the Mechanism is not itself to provide financial resources. Part IV institutions Article 22 (Conference of the Parties) This Article follows the practice common in international environmental agreements of establishing a Conference of the Parties to be the supreme body under the Convention. It will, inter alia, regularly review implementation of the Convention, establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary, coordinate with bodies established under other relevant conventions, and adopt by consensus rules of procedure and financial rules. Article 23 (Permanent Secretariat) This Article establishes a Permanent Secretariat to perform various administrative functions in support of the Convention. The COP, at its first session, is to designate the Secretariat. The interim Secretariat, which will function until after the first meeting of the COP, is to be the secretariat that supported the negotiation of the Convention (see Article 35 (Interim Arrangements) for such designation). Article 24 (Committee on Science and Technology) This Article establishes, as a subsidiary body, a Committee on Science and Technology, to provide the COP with information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The Committee will be multidisciplinary and will be open to the participation of all Parties; it will comprise government representatives competent in the relevant fields of expertise. Article 25 (Networking of Institutions, Agencies and Bodies) Article 25 provides that the Committee on Science and Technology (established under Article 24), under the COP's supervision, is to conduct a survey and evaluation of existing networks, institutions, agencies, and bodies willing to become units of a network to support implementation of the Convention. On the basis of such survey and evaluation, the Committee will recommend to the COP ways and means to facilitate and strengthen networking of such units at all levels. The COP is then to identify those units that are most appropriate for networking and recommend operational procedures. Part V procedures Article 26 (Communication of Information) This Article contains the reporting obligation of the Parties, namely that each Party is to communicate to the COP, through the Secretariat, reports on the measures it has taken to implement the Convention. Article 27 (Measures to Resolve Questions on Implementation) This provision mandates the COP to consider and adopt procedures for the resolution of questions that may arise regarding implementation of the Convention. Article 28 (Settlement of Disputes) This Article calls upon all Parties to settle any dispute arising concerning interpretation or application of the Convention through negotiation or other peaceful means of their choice. Paragraph 2 permits a Party, when joining the Convention, to declare that it accepts adjudication before the International Court of Justice and/or binding arbitration. We do not intend for the United States to make such a declaration. Therefore, recourse to binding arbitration would not be an option for disputes involving the United States under the Convention. However, Paragraph 6 provides for mandatory recourse, at the request of one Party to a dispute, to non- binding conciliation in accordance with procedures to be adopted by the COP and set forth in an Annex. The United States, as all Parties, would therefore be subject to non- binding conciliation for disputes as is the case in many environmental treaties. Article 29 (Status of Annexes) There are currently four Regional Implementation Annexes to the Convention. This Article makes clear that these Annexes, together with any future Annexes, form an integral part of the Convention; thus, unless expressly provided otherwise, any reference to the Convention also constitutes reference to its Annexes. The Parties are to interpret Annexes in a manner consistent with the Convention. Articles 30-40 (Final Clauses) Article 30 contains the procedures for amending the Convention. It provides that an amendment will enter into force for those Parties having accepted it 90 days after receipt by the Depository of instruments from at least two-thirds of the Parties that were Parties at the time the amendment was adopted. Article 31 establishes the procedures for adding new Annexes or amending existing Annexes. Annexes and amendments to Annexes other than Regional Implementation Annexes are to be adopted at the meetings of the COP and are to enter into force six months after notification by the Depositary of the provision's adoption for all Parties except those that have notified the Depositary that they do not accept the Annex or Annex amendment. Notifications of non-acceptance may be withdrawn (for example, when a Party has met its domestic requirements). As noted above, the Convention already contains four Regional Implementation Annexes that already form an integral part of the Convention. Article 31, coupled with Article 34, paragraph 4, governs the adoption of additional Regional Implementation Annexes and the amendment of any Regional Implementation Annexes. Once such an Annex/amendment is adopted, it enters into force for all Parties six months after the date of the communication by the Depositary to the Parties of such adoption, except in two cases: (1) where a Party has notified the Depositary within the six-month period that it does not accept the annex/ amendment (a so-called ``tacit'' approach); and (2) where a Party has made a declaration in accordance with Article 34, paragraph 4 (i.e., a declaration that any additional Regional Implementation Annex or any amendment to any Regional Implementation Annex will enter into force for it only upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with respect thereto), in which case any such Annex/amendment will enter into force for that Party only if it deposits an instrument of ratification, etc. The second alternative, which was introduced by the United States, was intended to ensure that the Senate had the opportunity to advise and consent to subsequent Regional Implementation Annexes. Amendments to the existing Annexes or to subsequent Annexes would likewise be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent unless, due to the technical and/or scientific nature of an amendment, it would be more appropriately entered into under the existing authority of the Executive. Article 32 provides that each Party to the Convention has the right to vote. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, may cast the number of votes equal to the number of their members that are Parties to the Convention. A regional economic integration organization may not vote if any one of its member States votes on an issue, and vice versa. The remaining provisions of the Convention, Articles 33-40, address such issues as signature of the Convention, the naming of a Depositary (the Secretary General of the United Nations), and interim arrangements for a secretariat. Of note is Article 36, which provides that the Convention shall enter into force only on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Also of note are Article 37, which prohibits reservations to the Convention, and Article 38, which provides that a Party to the Convention may withdraw three years after the Convention's entry into force for it upon at least one year's written notice to the Depositary. Regional Implementation Annexes annex i Regional Implementation Annex for Africa As noted above, Article 7 of the Convention reflects the intention of the Parties, in implementing the Convention, to give priority to affected-country Parties in Africa. To this end, Annex I elaborates, with considerable specificity, implementation of the Convention vis-a-vis Africa. The purpose of the Annex is to: identify measures and arrangements in accordance with the Convention; provide for the efficient and practical implementation of the Convention to address conditions specific to Africa; and promote processes and activities relating to desertification and drought within relevant areas of Africa. To this end, the Annex: --identifies particular conditions of Africa, for example, the substantial number of countries and populations adversely affected by desertification and by the frequent recurrence of severe drought (Article 3); --sets forth commitments of African country Parties, for example, adopting the combatting of desertification as a central strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty, developing contingency plans for mitigating the effects of drought, and making appropriate financial allocations from their national budgets reflecting the ``new priority'' Africa has accorded to the phenomenon of desertification and/or drought (Article 4); --reaffirms, and makes more specific to the context of Africa, commitments of the Parties under the Convention relating to financial, technological, and technical assistance (Articles 5, 14, 15, 16, and 17); --elaborates on the process (including coordination and consultation) and timetable for, and contents and implementation of, National Action Programs (Articles 6, 7, 8, 9, and 18); --calls for the preparation, and identifies the contents, of subregional and regional action programs (Articles 10, 11, 12, and 13); and --provides for how follow-up of the Annex is to be carried out by African country Parties at the national, subregional, and regional levels (Article 19). annexes ii, iii, and iv Regional Implementation Annexes for Asia, for Latin America and the Caribbean, and for the Northern Mediterranean These Annexes are considerable shorter and simpler than Annex I. They provide guidelines for the effective implementation of the Convention in the affected-country Parties of the various regions in light of their respective particular conditions. Each Annex recognizes the particular conditions that apply within that region and the need for Parties to take these into account when taking action under the Convention. Particular conditions include, for example, the broad diversity of affected areas within Asia with regard to climate, topography, land use and socioeconomic systems; the frequent use in Latin America and the Caribbean of unsustainable development practices; and, with respect to the Northern Mediterranean, semi-arid climatic conditions affecting large areas, seasonal droughts, and very high rainfall variability. Each Annex identifies elements that affected-country Parties in that region may include in their National Action Plans; each also provides for subregional and joint action programs. Each Annex also reaffirms obligations of the Parties under the Convention relating to financial resources and mechanisms. Annex IV (Northern Mediterranean) also identifies steps that affected-country Parties in the region are to take in preparing and implementing their National Action Programs; it calls for such programs to be finalized as soon as practicable. This Annex further provides that subregional, regional, and joint action programs may be prepared and implemented in collaboration with those of other subregions or regions, particularly with those of the subregion of northern Africa.