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Entering the last lap

29 June 1999

Howard Moore, the conference's secretary, counted 50 proposed amendments to the draft declaration and framework documents as the clock ticked slowly towards the deadline of 11.00 p.m. last night. Most delegations, it appears, had submitted their recommendations well in advance, and a last-minute stampede anticipated by some did not materialize.

Moore and a handful of volunteers - recruited from Unesco secretariat staff at the last minute - were preparing to work through the night to collate the responses in time for this morning's meeting of the drafting committee. The committee has until tomorrow night to produce the final text, which will then be debated at a plenary session on Thursday, the last day of the conference.

Macmillan MagazinesNature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1999 Registered No. 785998 England.