1. Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) took place from 1 to 12 December 2003 in Milan, Italy. The Climate Change Conference was initially adversely affected by Russia's contradictory statements on its ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the uncertainty regarding the date of the Protocol's entry into force and by the US going on the offensive in its climate policy approach in the media and at side events. Nevertheless, COP 9 was able to make it clear that the Kyoto Protocol had the support of the overwhelming majority in the international community. One key outcome of COP 9 was the successful conclusion of the two-year negotiations on the rules for afforestation and reforestation projects in developing countries. This closed the last gap in the Kyoto Protocol's rules of implementation.