26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee -- Agenda papers

02/11/2001

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26th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 3 - 7 December 2001
Agenda item 12.3 (l)

DOC. SC26/COP8-24

Draft resolution on unpaid Contracting Party contributions

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to consider the attached draft resolution for COP8 on this matter.

1. At its last meeting, the Standing Committee discussed the issue of unpaid contributions by Contracting Parties (see paragraphs 168-170 of the Minutes of the meeting) and adopted Decision SC25-27 which reads:

"The Standing Committee determined to submit to COP8 a draft resolution establishing that, in order to encourage timely and regular payment of annual contributions, as from 1 January 2003:

a) Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding two years on the date of the opening of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall not be eligible to be elected as Regional Representative in the Standing Committee of the Convention;

b) Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding three years on the date of the opening of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall have their right to vote suspended at that meeting;

c) Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding two years at the time of considering any request for funding under the Ramsar Small Grants Funds or other funding mechanism under the Convention shall not be eligible for such funding;

d) Since these sanctions would commence only at COP9 in 2005, COP8 should authorize the Standing Committee to negotiate a fair arrangement, on a case by case basis, with those Parties that have accumulated considerable arrears, in order to allow them to attend COP9 with a clean slate.

e) In case of severe economic conditions or natural disaster, at the request of the Contracting Party concerned, the Standing Committee would be authorized to make special arrangements with that Party regarding its unpaid contributions."

2. The text of the draft resolution is attached for consideration and approval.


Draft Resolution VIII.xx

Unpaid Contracting Party contributions

1. RECALLING that Article 6 of the Convention establishes, inter alia, that:

"5. The Conference of the Contracting Parties shall establish and keep under review the financial regulations of this Convention. At each of its ordinary meetings, it shall adopt the budget for the next financial period by a two-thirds majority of Contracting Parties present and voting.

6. Each Contracting Party shall contribute to the budget according to a scale of contributions adopted by unanimity of the Contracting Parties present and voting at a meeting of the ordinary Conference of the Contracting Parties."

2. EXPRESSING ITS SATISFACTION with the fact that the large majority of Contracting Parties have been paying their assessed contributions regularly, allowing the Bureau to carry out its important functions in servicing the Convention, and REGRETTING that some Contracting Parties have not being doing so;

3. MINDFUL that the payment of the assessed contributions not only constitutes an essential factor for the good functioning of the Convention but also represents a sign of commitment to the treaty by its Contracting Parties;

4. WISHING TO ENCOURAGE all Parties to make an effort to pay their contributions on time as a matter of fairness to those that regularly do so;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES

5. DECIDES that, as from 1 January 2003,

a) Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding two years on the date of the opening of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall not be eligible to be elected as Regional Representative in the Standing Committee of the Convention;

b) Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding three years on the date of the opening of the meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall have their right to vote suspended at that meeting;

c) with a grace period of one year from 1 January 2003, Contracting Parties whose arrears equal the amount of their assessed contribution for the preceding two years at the time of considering any request for funding under the Ramsar Small Grants Funds or other funding mechanism under the Convention shall not be eligible for such funding;

6. AUTHORIZES the Bureau to negotiate a fair arrangement, to be submitted to the approval of the Standing Committee, on a case by case basis, with those Parties that have accumulated considerable arrears, in order to allow them to arrive at COP9 with a clean slate.

7. FURTHER AUTHORIZES the Standing Committee to approve special arrangements concerning the payment of assessed contributions at the request of Contracting Parties that are experiencing the impact of severe economic conditions or natural disasters, and to report these arrangements to the Conference of the Contracting Parties.

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