COP8 Bulletin Day 5 – Friday October 5
The clock is ticking – it’s time to get serious about the COP Budget and Workplan
Today, the last full day of COP8 negotiations here in Geneva, is our last day to make decisions that will enable progress on FCTC implementation before we meet again in two years time. And with a number of critical decisions still left to be made, boy, is it going to be a long one.
Discussions yesterday in both Committees A and B flipped rapidly between agenda items in a flurry of draft decisions, conference papers, calls to capitals, and hurried sandwich lunches in hallways. At the time of writing yesterday evening, we note with concern that a few key issues in Committee B have yet to receive the airing that they deserve.
While Committee B has ‘noted’ the Secretariat’s performance report on the 2018-19 budget and workplan, questions remain on how key COP8 decisions – like the decision to begin an implementation review mechanism pilot project – will progress without funding for this to take place in 2019.
What’s more, with MOP set to meet next week to approve its own budget and workplan, to be funded through its own scheme of assessed contributions, we question why the proposed MOP 2018-19 budget (which proposes a time-splitting arrangement for key FCTC and ITP staff) was not even mentioned in Committee B yesterday.
The Secretariat has been tasked with preparing a revised 2020-21 workplan and budget to be presented this morning, in response to Parties’ inflexible request for zero budget increase for the next biennium.
The zero nominal increase policy has been promoted by so many Parties for almost the entire life of the treaty. It threatens to undermine progress to implement the Convention. It increases reliance on extrabudgetary resources to fund core activities, which undermines the agreement Parties reached earlier this week to allocate resources according to and in alignment with the Global Strategy.
As the end of the week draws close, we’d like to urge delegates to remain focused in these crucial final hours, and to prioritise discussions on resourcing the treaty for the next several years. Without careful and considered discussion on how we can best use limited resources, including COP’s time, the Global Strategy will be a missed opportunity.