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F - Organization of the work of the session

15. At the opening meeting of the session, the Governing Council considered and approved the organization of the work of the session in the light of the recommendation contained in the annotated provisional agenda UNEP/GC.17/l/Add.1) and the timetable of meetings suggested by the Executive Director (UNEP/GC.17/l/Add.1, annex I).

16. In accordance with rule 60 of its rules of procedure and following the organizational structure for its sessions decided upon at its fifteenth session (decision 15/1, sect. II, para. 2, of 25 May 1989), the Governing Council, atits opening meeting, established two sessional committees of the whole: a Programme Committee to deal with programme matters, with the Environment Fund and administrative and other official matters. The Council decided that the Programme Committee should be allocated, in addition to agenda item 7 (Programme matters, including the implementation of the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification), those parts of agenda item 6 (a) (Coordination within the United Nations system) covered by the joint progress report of the Executive Directors of UNEP and Habitat (UNEP/GC.17/4) and the parts of the 1991 and 1992 reports of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (UNEP/GC.17/11 and UNEP/GC.17/12) dealing with the coordination am-follow-up of the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification. The Council also decided that the Fund Committee should be allocated agenda item 8 (The Environment Fund, other financial matters and administration). Further it noted that each Committee might wish to consider those parts of the report of the Executive Director on the future course of UNEP (UNEP/GC.17/28) that were pertinent to the issues referred to it, and in particular:

(a) In the case of the Programme Committee, part IV, sections A (The UNEP programme for 1994-1995 and implementation of Agenda 21) 2/ and B (International coordinating machinery for Agenda 21) of the Executive Director's report;

(b) In the case of the Fund Committee, part II (New directions in management of UNEP), and part IV, sections C (UNEP management and organization study), D (The Global Environment Facility) and E (The financial situation) of the report.

17. It was agreed that the two sessional committees would meet concurrently during the first week of the session so as to complete their work by the afternoon of Friday, 14 May. Plenary would recommence at the ministerial or equivalent level, on Monday, 17 May, in keeping with section II, paragraph 2 (b), of Council decision 15/1, to discuss major policy issues and the remaining items of the agenda.

18. The Council also agreed that the Programme Committee and Fund Committee should be chaired, respectively, by Mr. Lizarralde-Maradey (Venezuela) and Mr. Fiil (Denmark), Vice-Presidents of the Council. Additionally, the Council decided that Mr. Libid (Philippines), Vice-President of the Council, would assist the President in the performance of his functions related to plenary.

19. The Council further decided to establish an informal open-ended negotiating group under the chairmanship of Mr. Libid (Philippines), Vice-President of the Council, with a core membership of two representatives from each regional group to consider the texts of draft policy decisions before their submission to the plenary meeting of the Council for formal consideration.

20. At the 2nd meeting of the session, convened on Friday, 14 May 1993, the President announced his intention to establish an informal group of Friends Of the President to examine and help finalize the report on the Governing Council's plans to implement Agenda 21, as outlined in document UNEP/GC.17/27. That report, he stated, could subsequently be channelled through the negotiating group or could be submitted directly to the Council. The President proposed that the informal Friends of the President group should comprise two representatives from each of the regional groupings.

21. After a lengthy discussion on procedural issues among the representatives, the Council agreed that all draft decisions, including those emanating from the sessional committees and the report of the Friends of the President, be submitted to the informal open-ended negotiating group for subsequent submission to the Council for formal consideration.