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 Thursday, 12 October 2006

The PIC COP-3 met in plenary throughout the day to hear reports from working and contact groups, and addressed nomination of experts and financial mechanisms. COP-3 adopted decisions on nomination of Chemical Review Committee (CRC) experts, election of COP-4 officers, technical assistance and synergies. The non-compliance working group met in the morning and convened in a Friends of the Chair Group and bilateral discussions in the afternoon. The contact groups on financial mechanisms and the budget met throughout the day. The Friends of the Chair Group on chrysotile asbestos met in a closed format and agreed to a text on the issue.

The Ministerial Segment convened in the afternoon to hear statements by ministers and high-level officials.

Plenary
A bird eye's view of the PIC COP-3 morning session, plenary.
L-R: Yun Zhou, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention; Maria Teriosina, COP-3 Rapporteur; Sheila Logan, Rotterdam Convention Secretariat; Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President; Bill Murray, Secretariat; Niek van der Graaff, Joint Executive Secretary - FAO; and Shivaji Pandey, Director Plant Production and Protection Division of the FAO.
On Election of COP-4 Officers, Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President, invited regional groups to nominate representatives for the Bureau to serve through to COP-4.
Non-compliance working group Chair Denis Langlois, Foreign Affairs Canada, reported on the group’s progress.
Paolo Ducci, Italy
Yun Zhou, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention, introduced the draft decision on regional and national delivery of technical assistance.
Contact group Co-Chair Jozef Buys, Belgium, reported progress on preparing a draft COP-3 decision but long-term financing options text remained bracketed.
On Synergies, contact group Co-Chair Karel B.H. Kwisthout, VROM, presented the draft decision on cooperation and coordination between the Rotterdam, Basel and Stockholm Conventions.
L-R: Speciosa Mutarabayire, UNON Conference Services; Judy Beaumont, Environment & Sustainable Development Cooperation, South Africa; and Elise Haber, Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa
Non-Compliance Working Group
Nicola Notaro, European Commission
On membership, Lee Eeles, Chemical Policy, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia, said his country could accept the UN regional basis for membership.
Stephan Michel, Switzerland
Mona Aarhus, Norway, noted unresolved procedures would prevent the compliance committee from functioning effectively.
For the compliance committee, Naresh Dayal, Ministry of Environment & Forests of India, supported four members from Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, two from GRULAC and Central and Eastern Europe, and three from WEOG.
On examining systemic issues of general compliance, Shuichi Takano, Japan, suggested the committee could be established in the absence of consensus on decision-making process, measures, triggers and composition.
L-R: Jeffrey M. Klein, USA, and Yuichi Nakayama, Kobe University Research Institute on MEAs (KURIM)
Delegates from Venezuela, L-R: Carlos González and Edwin Rafael Gimenez Henriquez
Ministerial Segment
President Yue Ruisheng welcomed ministers, high-level officials and delegates to the COP-3 Ministerial Segment, noting its theme “Towards the full implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: challenges and opportunities.”

L-R: Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP's Deputy Executive Director; Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President; Niek van der Graaff, Joint Executive Secretary - FAO; and Shivaji Pandey, Director Plant Production and Protection Division of the FAO.

Delegates during the afternoon session.

Front row (L-R): Pierre Hele, Minister for the Environment and Protection of Nature, Cameroon and delegation from Cameroon.

Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP's Deputy Executive Director, on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, said national implementation is key to meeting the objectives of the Convention, stressing the need to adapt existing legislative and administrative frameworks rather than creating new ones.
Shivaji Pandey, Director Plant Production and Protection Division of the FAO, paid tribute to Niek van der Graaff’s efforts to promote sound chemicals management at the international level, as he is retiring.
Shivaji Pandey, Director Plant Production and Protection Division of the FAO, is congratulated by Yue Ruisheng, PIC COP-3 President, and Niek van der Graaff, Joint Executive Secretary - FAO.
L-R: Maged Younes, Head of UNEP Chemicals, and Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP's Deputy Executive Director
Khaled A. Irani, Minister for the Environment, Jordan, highlighted national activities.
Noting that poor chemicals management continues to pose grave threats in Africa, Jean-Pierre Babatounde, Minister for the Environment and the Protection of Nature, Benin, called for financial resources, solidarity and a coordinated approach.
Thomas Kolly, Minister of the International Affairs Division, Switzerland, underscored an effective and supportive compliance regime and synergies for the Convention’s implementation.
Sirkka Hautojarvi, European Union President, Ministry of Environment of Finland, announced her country would host the ad hoc joint working group on synergies.
Encouraging an integrated approach to implementation in developing countries, Issifou Okoulou Kantchati, Minister for the Environment and Forests, Togo, commended the SAICM Quick Start Programme.
Pierre Hele, Minister for the Environment and Protection of Nature, Cameroon, noted problems in controlling transboundary movements of hazardous chemicals.
Stepan Lyzun, Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection, Ukraine, noted the country’s pesticides stockpiles and announced its intention to ratify the Stockholm Convention.
L-R: Raúl Vidable, Secretary of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina; and Chaudar Georgiev Georgiev, Deputy Minister for the Environment and Water, Bulgaria, stressed regional cooperation for sound chemical management.
B. Elias Shoniyin, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liberia, highlighted barriers preventing full implementation.
Mohamed L. Ould Aboye Ould Cheik Hadrami, Secretary of State, Mauritania, stressed the importance of technical assistance for developing countries in implementing the Convention.
Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, Director General, Pollution Control Department, Thailand, urged strengthening cooperation and communication between stakeholders at all levels for successful implementation of the Convention.
Ladislave Miko, Director, Directorate-General Environment, European Community, highlighted its member states’ emphasis on chemicals management.
Noting that no new chemicals have been added to Annex III since 2004, Alexander Nies, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nucear Safety, Germany, warned that failure to list chrysotile asbestos would damage the Convention’s implementation.
Kofi Poku Adusei, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Ghana, called for support in strengthening national legislation and capacity building.
Amb. Joseph U. Ayalogu, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in Geneva, drew attention to continued international traffic in hazardous chemicals.
Amb. Guillermo Valles, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations in Geneva, underscored shared responsibility and joint efforts in protecting the environment and public health.
Paolo Ducci, Directorate General for Economic and Multilateral Financial Cooperation, Italy, highlighted national action plans and strategies, cross-sectoral approaches and continued cooperation and collaboration between the MEAs.
Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization (WHO), highlighted health hazards of chrysotile asbestos and existence of safer substitutes.
Highlighting the recent illegal dumping of chemical waste in Cote d’Ivoire, Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Executive Secretary, Basel Convention, stressed coordinated and effective environmental instruments to protect vulnerable groups and ecosystems from chemicals and their hazards.
Amb. Venetia Sebudandi, Rwanda, underscored research and development, implementation strategies and synergies among chemicals-related MEAs.
Budget Contact Group
L-R: Gerold Wyrwal, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention, and Contact Group Chair Paul Garnier, Switzerland
The group negotiated the budget draft decision line-by-line, agreeing to a zero increase in budget compared to the last biennium.
Financial Mechanisms Conctact Group
L-R: Fransisca F. Katagira, Tanzania; Jozef Buys, EC; and Glenn Wiser, The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
On the financial mechanisms contact group, many developing countries proposed that the Secretariat explore new long-term financing sources and not limit funding from the GEF and the Montreal Protocol.
Side Event: Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a policy framework for international action on chemical hazards
L-R: Muhammed Omotola, Matthew Gubb and Hamondi Shubber, SAICM Secretariat, introduced participants to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a policy framework for international action on chemical hazards.
Ronke Soyombo, Fedral Ministry of Environment, Nigeria
Kaj Madsen, UNEP
Web coverage:
Monday, 9 October - Tuesday, 10 October - Wednesday, 11 October - Thursday, 12 October - Friday, 13 October
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