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World Awaits Decision on Plastic Pollution Treaty

By Faridat Salifu

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop a treaty on plastic pollution has gained significant global attention.

After a preparatory meeting held on November 11, 2023, where delegates discussed important issues related to the new instrument, the INC-3 session is set to begin.

Taking place at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, from November 13 to November 19, 2023, these discussions have been ongoing since the agreement to combat plastic pollution was reached in March 2022.

One of the challenges has been determining which part of the plastic supply chain the treaty should focus on.

UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution 5/14, which aims to end plastic pollution, highlights the need for a comprehensive approach, calling for a new treaty that addresses the entire lifecycle of plastics.

This represents a significant step towards addressing plastic pollution from production to disposal.

These discussions have covered topics not previously addressed during earlier INC sessions, such as the scope of the instrument.

Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, the Executive Secretary of the INC Secretariat, emphasized the importance of this meeting as an opportunity for collective brainstorming before the INC-3 negotiations begin.

During the meeting, delegates used the Synthesis Report as a basis for their discussions, compiling submissions regarding elements not discussed during INC-2.

Delegates shared their perspectives on crucial aspects like the preamble, principles, definitions, and the scope of the new agreement.

They also discussed the future treaty’s institutional arrangements, sharing thoughts on the governing body’s functions and the significance of subsidiary bodies, a financial mechanism, and other elements necessary for the successful implementation of the new instrument.

Toward the end of the day, delegations heard a presentation by the Secretariat on the work planned between INC-3 and INC-4.

They also had a preliminary discussion on potential intersessional work. The world is closely following this process, with news of an offsite demonstration against plastic pollution reaching the UN Office in Nairobi.

The outcome of the INC-3 session will be of great interest to the global community.

 

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