Madame President, fellow delegates, friends, it is with great pleasure that I speak today with the knowledge that we may have found a way through the final hurdle left to us in negotiating this important Convention. We have worked hard together to find a compromise and the spirit with which we did this has been very much in keeping with the spirit in which this entire negotiation has been conducted.
You are all, by now, familiar with our policy that States Parties should pay for the administrative costs incurred by the operation of a Convention to which they are a party and that these costs should not be borne by the general budget of the organization. However, without prejudice to that position, we think the consensus text put forward today is a suitable compromise.
As we understand it and as others, including the Secretariat, have reflected in their interventions, any monitoring mechanisms or measures developed by the Conference of Parties under Article 30(1)(e) shall be funded through the voluntary fund. Article 32 deals with the “Functioning Costs of the Convention.” We understand this phrase to refer to the costs associated with the Secretariat, the Conference of Parties and the reporting mechanism referred to in Article 31. Article 32 makes clear that these costs can be funded by an appropriate combination of the general budget and the Voluntary fund, but makes it clear that funding for the secretariat from the regular budget shall be done on a strictly minimal basis.
With these understandings, we can wholeheartedly support the adoption of this Convention.
I have been honored to participate in these negotiations and would particularly like to thank our chair, Jean-Pierre Blais and Vera Lacoeuilhe, who expertly chaired the working group. I have learned a great deal from all of you throughout out time together and am grateful to have had this opportunity to work on such an important issue.
[Ceded remaining time to Mike Gottleib, from ONDCP]