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21 June

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Daily web coverage
(Images and RealAudio)
Monday 17 Wednesday 19
Tuesday 18 Thursday 20

Sixth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS INC-6)

Geneva, Switzerland   -   17-21 June 2002 

E N B
S U M M A R Y

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Friday, 21 June:

On the last day of INC-6, delegates held a lengthy debate on budgetary matters, heard reports from contact groups and the Legal Drafting Group, discussed the location of the Stockholm Convention Secretariat, watched World Cup football, adopted decisions and made closing statements. Photo, from left to right: INC Chair John Buccini (Canada); Jim Willis, Director of UNEP Chemicals; David Ogden, UNEP Chemicals; and Bo Wahlstrom, UNEP Chemicals.


Decision on best available practices (BAP)
and best environmental technologies (BET)
Co-Chairs Bob Kellam (USA, left) and Sergio Vives (Chile).
Chair Buccini introduced the submission by the contact group on BAT/BEP (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/CRP.17). Contact group Co-Chair Kellam highlighted the sections on participation and officers, recommending that INC-6 select countries be participants to the Expert Group. The EU opposed text in the draft decision stating that funding will be provided for one participant from an environmental NGO and "one participant from an industrial NGO." Co-Chair Kellam clarified that the provision was for developing country industrial NGOs who may be unable to participate without assistance. Delegates agreed to delete the text, and the draft decision was adopted. INC-6 invited the contact group Co-Chairs to take on the role of interim Co-Chairs of the Expert Group, who accepted the invitation.

Report of the contact group on the POPs Review Committee (POPRC)
Contact group Co-Chair Rainer Arndt (Germany, left in photo) submitted to INC-6 the report of the POPRC contact group (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/CRP.18). The EU proposed, and delegates agreed, that the Secretariat prepare, based on this report, a draft of the POPRC terms of reference and rules of procedure for discussion at INC-7.
Co-Chairs Arndt and Fatoumata Jallow Ndoye (The Gambia).

Location of the Secretariat
Listen to Italy's statement promoting the co-location and unification of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention.

On Tuesday, 18 June, Italy made a longer statement describing its bid to host the pesticides section of the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.

 
Germany stated that the Secretariat would benefit from being in close proximity to several other Secretariats located in Bonn.
The document describing the possible categories of information to be collected from countries interested in hosting the permanent Secretariat was introduced by Willis on behalf of the Secretariat (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/21).
 
Switzerland highlighted the merits of hosting the industrial chemicals section of the Stockholm Convention in Geneva.
 
Buccini summarized the presentations, noting that the deadline for submitting offers to host the Secretariat would be November 2002. The US proposed adding an information category on synergies with other Secretariats, and Chile requested information on housing prices and vacancy rates.

Liability and redress
Austria described a workshop on liability and redress to be held in Vienna from 19-21 September 2002, the report of which is to be considered at COP-1.
Matthew Gubb, UNEP Chemicals, introduced the document (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/INF/5), noting that although a liability and redress regime was not called for in the Stockholm Convention, the Conference of Plenipotentiaries recommended its consideration and invited governments to submit information on national, regional and international measures and agreements relating to liability and redress.
 
Colombia expressed disappointment at the lack of opportunity to exchange views on the Vienna workshop, and suggested that the governments who have not submitted comments do so before the Vienna meeting.

Report of the Legal Drafting Group
Legal Drafting Group (LDG) Chair Anne Daniel (Canada, right) reported on results from meetings held between Wednesday, 19 June and Friday, 21 June. She said a first reading had been completed on the rules of procedure, the financial rules, and rules on conciliation. She recommended a second reading of the issues before they are considered by INC-7.

Report of the technical assistance contact group

In the technical assistance contact group, INC-6 agreed to all the decisions (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/CPR.25 and CPR.29), including ones on guidance and on a feasibility study on regional and subregional centers.

Listen to Co-Chair Buys's report to Plenary: part one  part two

Jozef Buys (Belgium), Co-Chair of the contact group on technical assistance.

Budget

Country comments and questions: New Zealand suggested possible avenues for cost and debt reduction, including renegotiation of debt with UNEP; the Russian Federation and EU questioned staff costs; The Gambia asked how the Rotterdam Convention overcame similar financial shortfalls; and St. Lucia said that activities should be prioritized before engaging in any cuts.

Following the debate, Willis answered delegations' questions and reacted to their comments.

Willis, on behalf of the Secretariat presented INC-6 with its projected 2003-2004 budget (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/CRP.15). He noted the potential impacts of shortfalls in 2002. He outlined the budgetary impacts resulting from the decisions taken by INC-6, notably regarding technical assistance, the feasibility study, and the capacity assistance network (CAN). The US pledged US$100,000 to finance the BAT/BEP expert group. Chair Buccini proposed, and INC-6 agreed to, inter alia: note the 2003 budget and the US$300,000 net increase; and strike a small budget committee for INC-7.

Closing Plenary
EGYPT, on behalf of the G77/CHINA, expressed its gratitude for the decision to conduct a feasibility study on and for the capacity assistance network. He said that despite many achievements at INC-6, the Group's objectives are yet to be realized.
 
Spain, on behalf of the EU, noted the happy conclusion of the session and highlighted the constructive spirit which reigned throughout INC-6.
 
Handshakes and goodbyes for Buccini and Willis following the close of what many considered to be a successful INC.
Iran, on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Group, expressed gratitude to the Chair and the Secretariat, and stated that his region attached great importance and hope in the implementation of the Stockholm Convention.
 
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, expressed hope that the commitment show by developed countries at INC-6 would continue, highlighted issues of assistance and technology transfer, and called for a critical evaluation of African stockpiles of POPs.
 
In his closing statement, INC Chair John Buccini (left) thanked: INC-6 for a good meeting; the POPs Secretariat for its excellent organization; and the interpreters for their hard work. Chair Buccini then gaveled the meeting to a close at 7:25 pm.

 

 
Willis bids au revoir to members of the Spanish delegation.

Miscellaneous photos
The coffee bar at the Centre International de Congrès de Genève.
World Cup Fever: The convening of both the morning and afternoon
Plenaries were delayed to allow delegates to finish watching Brazil
vs. England (above) and Germany vs. USA (below).

Links

> UNEP Chemicals (Secretariat) POPs-6 website, with meeting documents,
   Chair's briefing note, provisional agenda and and information for participants
> Text of the Stockholm Convention

> ENB's coverage of POPs-5 and the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries
> Linkages Introduction chemical management
 

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