Thursday, 17 July
On the fourth day of INC-7, delegates met in Plenary, contact group and Budget Group sessions. In the morning Plenary, delegates discussed issues regarding guidelines on best available techniques (BAT) and guidance on best environmental practices (BEP), evaluation of current and projected releases of chemicals listed in Annex C (unintentional production), and information exchange. In the afternoon Plenary, delegates discussed issues regarding financial resources and mechanisms and interim financial arrangements. The Budget Group met in the morning to discuss the Secretariatís draft budget formats, and a contact group on financial mechanisms met in the evening.
Legal Drafting Group (LDG) Chair Anne Daniel (Canada) reported on the Groupís progress, noting that it had completed all of its assigned work on draft rules of procedure, draft financial rules, draft dispute settlement rules on arbitration and conciliation, and draft Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Review Committee (POPRC) terms of reference (ToR).
Listen to Anne Daniel
PREPARATIONS FOR THE COP: Guidelines on BAT and guidance on BEP: The Secretariat reviewed the report of the first session of the Expert Group on BAT-BEP held in March 2003 in North Carolina, USA. Co-Chair Sergio Vives (Chile) reported on the Groupís first session, noting progress made towards developing recommendations on possible structure and draft elements for BAT guidelines and BEP guidance. He stated that the Groupís second session is planned for December 2003 in Chile.
Listen to the Secretariatís review
Listen to Co-Chair Sergio Vives
CANADA noted the importance of meeting challenges regarding the scope of chemicals to be addressed and the timing to have documents ready for COP-1. GERMANY and SWITZERLAND each highlighted that each would assist in sponsoring the Groupís second session. IRAN, CAMEROON and others expressed concern about geographic representation at the Groupís meetings. MOROCCO, on behalf of G-77/China, requested that the Secretariat help ensure that all regions are represented in the Expert Group. INC Chair John Buccini (Canada) asked the Secretariat to work with regional groups to nominate replacement members for those who cannot attend particular meetings. EGYPT and others noted the need for technical and financial assistance for implementing BAT-BEP in developing countries. TOGO added the need for a regional approach to addressing the issue of leaded gasoline use in Africa. The PHILIPPINES suggested that the Group should address less capital-intensive technologies, such as source separation, recycling, and composting. ARGENTINA noted the need to better define BEP. CHINA mentioned the need to take into account differences among countries in their abilities to apply BAT-BEP.
Listen to Canada
Listen to Iran
Listen to Morocco
Listen to Samoa (on BAT)
Listen to Switzerland
Evaluation of releases of chemicals listed in Annex C: The Secretariat introduced a document on a revised standardized toolkit for the identification and quantification of dioxin and furan releases. ARGENTINA, ECUADOR, and ITALY, on behalf of the EU, stated that the toolkit should be expanded to cover all Annex C chemicals. The US called for clarification on the process for updating the toolkit. CHILE stated that the toolkit does not adequately reflect conditions in developing countries. Many delegates noted the need to systematically update the toolkit to reflect new scientific developments and the specific experiences of developing countries. EGYPT, TOGO and URUGUAY requested field tests and pilot projects for the further development of the toolkit. The Secretariat urged Parties to provide financial resources to carry out more national and regional projects. VIETNAM, GHANA, ZAMBIA and TANZANIA stressed the usefulness of the toolkit in creating a preliminary inventory of dioxin and furan releases. TANZANIA added that the toolkit does not differentiate between controlled and non-controlled emissions, and that the information required for estimating emissions from some sources is not available in developing countries.
Listen to Italy
Listen to Chair Buccini
Information exchange: The Secretariat introduced its note on a work plan and budget for the initiation and maintenance of a clearing-house mechanism (CHM) for information exchange on POPs. CANADA called for discussing the level of duplication and overlap between clearing-house and technical assistance activities at COP-1. EGYPT requested that the CHM function in all UN languages. CHINA emphasized the need to support developing countries in establishing their national CHMs. CHILE supported the inclusion of technical and financial assistance sources.
Financial resources and mechanisms: The Secretariat introduced a note on information from relevant funding institutions on ways in which they can support the Stockholm Convention. He explained that no submissions were received and noted no follow-up was done due to a lack of resources.
The Secretariat also introduced its note on guidance to the financial mechanism. The EU welcomed the Global Environment Facilityís (GEF) decision to designate POPs as a new focal area and called for a strong partnership between the Stockholm Convention and the GEF. The G-77/ CHINA stressed that the Conventionís implementation is conditional on the mobilization of new and additional financial resources. He called for a credible and flexible financial mechanism.
On establishing a process to enable COP-1 to provide guidance to the GEF, the EU, supported by the US and others, proposed that the Secretariat consult with the GEF Secretariat and produce a paper on guidance to be worked on by a contact group at COP-1. In contrast, the G-77/CHINA proposed an intersessional working group on this issue. AUSTRALIA suggested a compromise in which the Secretariat would circulate and seek comments on several drafts of its paper.
INC Chair Buccini noted a general agreement on the need to establish a consultation process for developing draft guidance to the financial mechanism. He suggested, and delegates agreed, to establish a contact group, co-chaired by representatives of donor and developing countries, to explore the modalities of the consultation process.
Regarding the provision of interim guidance to the GEF on issues of eligibility, priorities and the calculation of costs, the G-77/ CHINA said the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safetyís Bahia Declaration on Chemical Safety could be useful. The EU and others said it would be legally inappropriate for the INC to formally provide interim guidance to the GEF, and recommended that the INC only convey its views on actions taken and proposed. She said INC-7 should focus on eligibility criteria and programme priorities.
On priorities, CANADA encouraged the GEF to focus its efforts on obligations under the Stockholm Convention, and the EU called for consideration of the priorities coming out of NIPs. The US identified the development of NIPs and enabling activities as priorities.
On eligibility, the US said the GEF has good eligibility criteria and recommended deferring detailed discussion on eligibility to COP-1. The EU stated that developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEITs) Parties should be eligible for funding, and that developing country and CEIT Signatories should also be eligible for enabling activity support. The Secretariat clarified that, in the interim, Signatories will be eligible for support if they are eligible for World Bank and UNDP funding.
The Secretariat introduced a draft ToR for the review of the financial mechanism, noting that under Convention Article 13 (financial resources and mechanisms), the review must not occur later than COP-2. The EU and others recommended addressing the issue at COP-1, and the US encouraged the Secretariat to collaborate with the GEF Secretariat on this issue. Delegates agreed to submit comments on the draft ToR to the Secretariat by the end of 2003 and review the issue at COP-1.
Interim financial arrangements: Stockholm Convention Executive Secretary Jim Willis introduced a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Stockholm interim Secretariat and the GEF Council.
The G-77/CHINA requested that the interim nature of the GEF as a financial mechanism be emphasized. CHINA, on behalf on the Asia and Pacific Group, suggested that the GEF consider greater flexibility in project financing and simplified project approval procedures. He suggested that the COP periodically evaluate developing countriesí needs and submit them to the GEF Assembly for consideration. Delegates agreed to submit comments by 31 December 2003 so that the revised MoU can be prepared for consideration by COP-1 and the GEF Council.
CONTACT GROUP ON FINANCIAL MECHANISMS
Discussing the consultation process on guidance to the financial mechanism, delegates agreed that the outcome of the consultations should be a two-page policy document and that the Secretariat prepare, with GEF assistance, a substantive document as a basis for discussions. Delegates agreed to provide initial comments on the Secretariatís document electronically, and to conduct teleconferences and face-to-face meetings prior to COP-1. They discussed whether the consultations should be open or limited to regionally nominated participants, and selected non-governmental (NGO) and inter-governmental organizations. The detailed proposals on the consultation processí modalities will be presented in writing prior to submission to Plenary.
Executive Secretary Willis presented a line-budget report based on the Montreal Protocol and Basel Convention formats, and an activity-based budget breakdown based primarily on the format agreed at INC-6.
Many delegates commended the transparency and detail in the line-based report. Several delegates stressed the need to provide information on using an indicative scale of contributions and on the Secretariatís reserves to enable better planning of donor activities.
Concerning the distinction between core and non-core activities, the EU introduced a proposal to specify in the financial rules a three-fund budget structure incorporating general, special and supplementary trust funds in order to, inter alia, recognize the financial implications of proposed new activities. Some delegates noted that the financial rules drafted by the LDG already provide options for such a structure, and many recommended that the EUís proposal be addressed in Plenary.
Delegates also discussed, inter alia: the need to ensure flexibility in budget planning in light of uncertainties relating to projected contributions and COP scheduling; the Secretariatís staffing needs for 2003 and reporting of staff-related expenditures; participant travel costs; and funding of feasibility and case studies on regional centers.
Delegates agreed to propose a decision to INC-7, which incorporates the activities-based budget and an estimation of projected contributions and approves a restructured line-based budget for 2004-2005.