Geneva 1986

Only twenty-five nations attended the December 1986 opening negotiating session in Geneva, six of which were Southern nations (Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Philippines, and Uruguay).68 The United States pressed the proposal it had announced in November: an immediate CFC freeze, followed by a gradual, 95 percent CFC phaseout.69 This proposal was countered by the EU declaration that it "had no mandate to negotiate anything other than a cap on production capacity," and an attempt to postpone the already scheduled second meeting.70

Conspicuously absent from any media reports of the first meeting was any mention of the South or of development concerns.71 John Ne-groponte reported to Congress that "[d]eveloping country representation at Geneva was sparse."72 Tolba attributed this low Southern attendance to the "lack of interest they had showed until then."73 Egypt and Argentina did make statements during the discussion of a draft protocol that signaled that some states were starting to use universal participation as their operating rule. They not only informed the parties of their activities, but they also advocated a protocol that "would be acceptable to the main producers and consumers, which was a condition for it to be effective," and that would "encourage [Southern states] to participate . . ."74 However, these statements notwithstanding, the overwhelming bulk of the discussions surrounded CFC-control issues and definitions of the ozone depletion problem.75

The recalcitrance of the EU, rather than any Southern concerns, was the major story at Geneva.76 The chairman of the Geneva meeting claimed that though Geneva had been a good beginning, "[t]he real negotiations have to start, and this really depends on the evolution of the EEC's position."77 Benedick mirrored this concern and complained that the EU was not prepared to negotiate as a single body—they lacked internal consistency.78 The negotiators left Geneva with no breakthroughs and little hope of achieving a protocol by the spring of 1987 (the original goal).

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