From June 6-17, IPEN members will participate in the Meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. Check this page for updates throughout the meetings.
The hybrid meeting of the fifth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-5), entitled “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, and its preparatory (the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives – OECPR), will focus on five thematic areas: plastics, nature-based solutions and biodiversity, chemicals, green recovery and circular economy, and organizational and administrative matters. IPEN has sent an international delegation to contribute to the in-person negotiations.
Under the plastic pollution thematic area, the main focus will be on discussing a mandate to start negotiation of a treaty on plastic. If agreed, the mandate would convene an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to negotiate a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. Under consideration are three draft resolutions: one proposed by Rwanda and Peru and supported by over 50 countries; another by Japan; and the last one proposed by India. Details about these proposals and IPEN’s positions can be found in IPEN’s Quick Views on UNEA 5.2.
Under the chemicals thematic area there are 3 resolutions that will be discussed. In our quick views we focus on two resolutions: one on the Science-Policy Panel on chemicals, waste, and pollution and the resolution on Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste. In our quick views and global science policy documents, we outline many specific issues and recommendations, highlighting the need for precautionary action and as well as adequate funding for the sound management of chemicals and waste.
The twelfth meeting of the Basel Convention Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG12) is taking place in a planned two-session approach due to the Covid-19 crisis: an online segment on September 1st - 3d and if possible, a face-to-face meeting in March. Recorded briefings on the set-up from UNEP are available in the UN languages here.
The online session will not take any decisions or negotiate any text but instead will focus on presentations of progress of the intersessional process, such as the various technical guidelines followed by interventions. More information about the online segment and meeting documents is available here and here.
IPEN was well represented at the first segment of the 12th Open Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention along with delegates from scores of countries across the globe. The meeting sought to confirm schedules for advancing reviews of key technical guidelines for addressing some of the most critical global pollution issues in the world today including the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes such as plastic, mercury, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The advancement of the technical guidance is to allow their presentation for adoption at COP 15 of the Basel Convention inJuly 2021.
"We were here in the same building in November 2003 as part of SAICM negotiations and we have been engaged in grassroots implementation since the very beginning and have as a network adopted “Toxics-free Future” as our vision for accomplishing SAICM’s goals. In adopting SAICM, governments agreed that advancing chemical safety should be viewed as a necessary component of the sustainable development agenda.
Governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention acted to restrict rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste.
IPEN participated in the Mercury Treaty's 2nd Conference of the Parties (COP2), which took place from 19 to 23 November, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. Technical briefings on Effectiveness Evaluation and the Specific International Programme kicked off the week on 18 November.
IPEN and PAN met with Gertrude Sahler, President of SAICM, to share information about priorities for and questions about SAICM's Beyond 2020 process. IPEN Steering Committee Member Alexandra Caterbow (HejSupport) facilitated the discussion, which focused on highly hazardous pesticides, financing, and women and chemicals. Dr. Meriel Watts (PAN Asia Pacific) and Yuyun Ismawati (BaliFokus) also shared specific information about the loss of life and damage to health caused by the toxic impacts of pesticides and mercury use.