Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC COP-3)
9-13 October 2006 | Geneva, Switzerland
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Highlights for Tuesday, 10 October 2006

The third Conference of the Parties (COP-3) to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade met in plenary throughout the day, addressing nomination of experts to the Chemical Review Committee (CRC), inclusion of chrysotile asbestos, financial mechanisms, technical assistance and election of COP-4 officers. The working group on non-compliance met throughout day, and the budget contact group met in the morning.

Plenary
Delegates during the morning plenary session.
On "Nomination of Governments to Designate Experts to CRC", the Secretariat introduced UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/6 outlining the need for COP-3 to identify governments that will be invited to nominate experts to replace those CRC members whose two-year appointments expire in September 2007.

L-R: Maria Teriosina, COP-3 rapporteur; Sheila Logan, Rotterdam Convention Secretariat; Maged Younes, Head of UNEP Chemicals; Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President; and Bill Murray, Secretariat.

Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President, asked delegates to consider whether the Convention’s legal and procedural requirements had been met on: the criteria for the notification; the preparation and approval of the decision guidance documents (DGDs); and the submission of the DGDs and recommendation to the COP.
Sheila Logan, Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, presented the CRC-2 report on risk evaluations under other MEAs.
Constantin Saranchouk, Legal Advisor of Russian Federation, supported Canada, calling for solid scientific evidence on risks.
L-R: John Whitelaw, Secretariat; Maged Younes, Acting Executive Secretary, Stockholm Convention; Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President; Bill Murray, Secretariat; Shivaji Pandey, Director Plant Production and Protection Division of the FAO.
Bill Murray, Secretariat, introduced UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/14, highlighting the contribution of regional and national delivery of technical assistance to the implementation of the Convention.
Ana Patricia Pineda Zavaleta, Mexico, highlighted the importance of ensuring availability of resources to fulfill developing countries’ commitments.
Bougonou K. Djeri-Alassani, Togo, stressed collaboration and cooperation emphasizing the economies of scale created by synergies.
Fragamou Sy Diop, Senegal, commented on the proposed approach to technical assistance to the implementation of the Convention.
Virginia Negretti, Venezuela
Henry O. Williams, Liberia, said listing of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III could encourage finding alternatives to its use.
Risa Kasai, Japan, noted the need to find ways to link the Convention to existing financial instruments.
David Brown, US, asked whether expansion or formalization of UNEP/FAO regional office assistance is currently planned.
John Whitelaw, Secretariat, introduced the study on possible lasting and sustainable financial mechanisms.
Atle Fretheim, Norway, supported further use of the Convention’s voluntary fund and GEF POPs focal area, and suggested exploring bilateral assistance.
Ronke Soyombo, Fedral Ministry of Environment of Nigeria, for the Afican Group, welcomed any financial mechanism that would allow further capacity building and technical assistance.
Non-Compliance Working Group
The Non-Compliance Working Group considered a possible decision-making process.

On measures, the group did not make progress on the bracketed measure recommending a non-compliant party to take steps to remedy the non-compliant situation, such as re-import/re-export of the chemical or safe disposal at the expense of the non-complaint party.

On a decision-making process, Chair Langlois proposed a two-thirds majority vote if consensus could not be reached, noting that the interests of those supporting consensus are protected by the COP’s Rules of Procedure.

L-R: Denis Langlois, Foreign Affairs Canada; and Masa Nagai, Secretariat.

Hyacinth Chin sue, Pesticides Control authority, Jamaica, supported the Chair’s proposal for a two-thirds majority vote if consensus could not be reached.
Jeffrey M. Klein, USA, supported taking decisions only by consensus.
Lee Eeles, Chemical Policy, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia, noted the COP’s decision-making process had not yet been agreed on and supported taking decisions only by consensus.
Members of the European Union delegation consulting on proposed non-compliance measures.
Toure Modibo Mohamane, Permanent Representative of Mali to FAO IFAD/WPO, proposed meetings be open to the public unless the committee decides otherwise or the party whose compliance is in question requests a closed meeting.
Participants during the meeting.
Regarding measures on issuing a statement of concern and issuing a caution, Chair Langlois proposed language merging the ideas by following the Basel Convention’s model of issuing a cautionary statement. INDIA opposed the Chair’s proposal.

L-R: Denis Langlois, Foreign Affairs Canada; and Naresh Dayal, Ministry of Environment & Forests of India.

Shuichi Takano, Japan, proposed language on issuing a cautionary statement regarding future compliance to assist parties’ implementation of the Convention, and deleting text on a statement of determination on and declaration of non-compliance.
Regarding transparency, Chair Langlois proposed that meetings be closed, unless the committee and the party whose compliance is in question agree otherwise. Maintaining this proposal’s essence, Anne Daniel, Canada, proposed language on closing meetings to the public unless the committee and party decide otherwise.
Budget Working Group
The Secretariat introduced a revised document on the 2007-2008 budget, including the addition of language giving options either to maintain the level of the working capital reserve at 15% of the average operational budget or decrease it to 8.3%. Participants then discussed the draft budget line-by-line, particularly COP-4 costs and expenditures with consultants and translators. The group will continue discussions on Thursday.
Jill Hanna, EC, speaking on behalf of the EU.
L-R: John Whitelaw, Secretariat and Paul Garnier, Switzerland.
Around the conference
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team. L-R: Atieno Ndomo, Kenya; Richard Sherman, South Africa; Sikina Jinnah, United States of America; Julie Taylor, Zimbabwe; Melanie Ashton, Australia; Olivia Pasini, Italy/Switzerland/United Kingdom; Leila Mead, United States of America; and Xenya Cherny Scanlon, Russia
Japanese delegation.
Web coverage:
Monday, 9 October - Tuesday, 10 October - Wednesday, 11 October - Thursday, 12 October - Friday, 13 October
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