Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 15 No. 68
Friday, 21 June 2002
POPS INC-6 HIGHLIGHTS
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2002
On the fourth day of INC-6, delegates met in morning and
afternoon Plenary sessions, in two morning contact groups and one
evening contact group. In the morning Plenary, delegates completed
deliberations on financial resources and mechanisms, interim
financial arrangements, measures to reduce or eliminate releases
from intentional production and use and Register of specific
exemptions, and measures to reduce or eliminate releases from
stockpiles and wastes. In the afternoon, delegates discussed
information exchange, technical assistance, and effectiveness
evaluation. The two morning contact groups on the POPs Review
Committee (POPRC) and on best available techniques (BAT) and best
environmental practices (BEP) finalized their work and presented
reports to Plenary in the afternoon. The evening contact group
finalized decisions on guidance on technical assistance, and on the
feasibility study on regional and subregional centers.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: Financial
resources and mechanisms, and interim financial arrangements:
Following up on Wednesday’s discussion regarding the Memorandum of
Understanding with and guidance to the GEF, the GEF Secretariat
indicated it would consider INC-6 proposals at its October 2002
On review of the financial mechanism’s effectiveness, NORWAY,
with CANADA, distinguished between review and evaluation. NORWAY
stressed the need for criteria to be consistent with guidance
provided in the article on financial mechanisms. The EU, POLAND and
the US stressed that criteria for the financial mechanism review
should not be GEF-specific. The EU proposed inviting country
submissions to this end. The EU and POLAND suggested, and delegates
agreed, to postpone discussion on the institutional structure for
the final financial mechanism. POLAND and CANADA recommended, and
delegates agreed, to use the criteria for review as indicated in the
article on financial resources and mechanisms. CANADA recommended
drawing upon outcomes of other reviews and evaluations of the GEF,
and suggested the Secretariat seek assistance from experts but not
invite country submissions. Delegates mandated the Secretariat to
submit a draft document on the review of the financial mechanism to
Regarding guidance on and timing of activities to collect
information from relevant funding institutions, CANADA proposed a
database, and, with the EU and the US, stressed the private sector’s
role. CHILE recommended that the COP discuss identification and
mobilization of available resources. The EU highlighted overlap of
activities with those of the capacity assistance network (CAN).
POLAND suggested the COP undertake the review of these activities by
2004. IRAN suggested the Secretariat utilize GEF funds. CHINA
inquired about the extent of technical or financial assistance to
the Convention by NGOs and intergovernmental organizations.
Delegates asked the Secretariat to present INC-7 with a draft report
on this issue.
Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional
production and use and Register of specific exemptions:
Regarding work on DDT (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/5 and INC.6/INF/ 3),
VENEZUELA recommended that the COP analyze suitability of DDT
alternatives for developing counties. The EU encouraged cooperation
between UNEP and the WHO, and consideration of work undertaken by
NGOs. He recommended that the Secretariat develop a format for
reporting on DDT use. THE GAMBIA sought WHO advice regarding its
1995 DDT ban, while INDIA sought assistance from the WHO in
developing alternatives to DDT. Chair Buccini said the Secretariat,
in cooperation with the WHO, would develop a format for reporting by
Parties and develop guidance and collect information for COP-1.
Regarding specific exemptions and the review and process for
extending exemptions, including a draft format of the Register of
specific exemptions (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/4 and INC.6/INF/6), JAPAN said
that the Register should not have any legal implications. The US,
with the EU, said the remarks column in the proposed format was
useful to provide further information on the scope of the exemption.
The EU supported general guidelines on criteria for exemption
extensions and for temporary exemptions. The US supported initiating
the development of guidance, with country input, to assist the COP,
and to be consolidated by the Secretariat and discussed at INC-7.
Delegates invited the Secretariat to propose a reporting format, as
well as a format for the Register.
Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from stockpiles and
wastes: Delegates discussed the note on guidelines for POP
wastes and cooperation with the Basel Convention (UNEP/POPS/
with CANADA and the US, stressed the importance of cooperation with
the Basel Convention’s Technical Working Group (TWG) and among
experts at the national level. The EU proposed that the Secretariat
analyze and recommend relevant elements of the Basel Convention
guidelines for adoption by the COP. Delegates agreed to ask the
Basel Convention to consider inviting INC members to participate in
developing relevant guidelines. CUBA said the guidelines should
contain economically viable options. Delegates welcomed continued
cooperation between the two Conventions, particularly at the
national level, in capacity building, and on guidelines development.
Clearing-House Mechanism: Regarding possible functions of the
clearing-house mechanism (CHM) (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/INF/ 7), the EU,
with NORWAY, questioned the US $250,000 requested by the Secretariat
and the potential for synergies between the CHM and CAN. The
Secretariat explained that roughly US $150,000 of their request
accounted for supporting the existing Stockholm Convention website.
CHILE stressed keeping the CAN and CHM as two separate systems.
ARGENTINA and NORWAY emphasized the importance of maintaining
support for the website. POLAND encouraged creating CHMs at the
national level, especially for non-UN language countries. NEW
ZEALAND, with ARGENTINA, suggested that the Secretariat develop a
more detailed CHM workplan and budget for consideration at INC-7.
Effectiveness Evaluation: Delegates discussed the note on two
existing UNEP Chemicals monitoring programmes (UNEP/POPS/ INC.6/10).
CANADA, supported by the US, AUSTRALIA, and ARGENTINA stressed the
need to develop a strategic framework for evaluation at the earliest
stage possible. AUSTRALIA noted that monitoring should consider both
environmental and health effects. JAPAN emphasized the need to
strengthen or initiate monitoring activities and encouraged the
sharing of environmental data. SANTA LUCIA, SAMOA and ARGENTINA
emphasized the need for methodology standards. The EU warned against
committing to a project with unrealistic financial implications.
CHINA stressed that monitoring should focus on POPs covered under
the Convention. Delegates agreed that an informal drafting group
will prepare a draft decision by Friday, 21 June.
PRESENTATION OF DRAFT DECISIONS: Regarding the draft decision
on guidance on technical assistance, the G-77/ CHINA proposed text
inviting developed countries to provide information to the
Secretariat on ways and modalities for the provision of assistance.
The EU questioned the appropriateness of text on possible modalities
for implementation. SAINT LUCIA proposed that the Secretariat’s
report on priorities for technical assistance be based, in part, on
information gathered from consultative workshops.
Regarding the draft decision on the feasibility study,
SWITZERLAND and others, proposed that the study be undertaken in
consultation with the Basel Convention Secretariat. The G-77/ CHINA
recommended that the study include an assessment of possible
mechanisms for technology transfer and financial assistance. The EU
stated that it would be premature to embark on the pilot project or
CAN prior to completion of the feasibility study.
Regarding the pilot project draft decision, SWITZERLAND,
supported by GRULAC and others, proposed that the pilot project be
conducted in cooperation with the Basel Convention Secretariat and
its Regional Centers. GRULAC reiterated that the feasibility study
and the pilot project should be conducted simultaneously.
Regarding the CAN draft decision, SWITZERLAND, supported by the
CZECH REPUBLIC and others, proposed that the feasibility study take
into account relevant ongoing work in other fora. Chair Buccini
proposed forming a contact group to finalize these four decisions.
Regarding the draft decision on interim guidance on national
implementation plans, the Secretariat amended the text to invite
governments to provide their comments by 31 October 2002. EGYPT
asked that the issue be discussed on Friday, 21 June, when the draft
decision is made available in all UN languages.
CONTACT GROUP REPORTS: The results of the contact group on
BAT/BEP, co-chaired by Sergio Vives (Chile) and Robert Kellam (US),
were presented to Plenary. Co-Chair Vives presented the draft terms
of reference for the Expert Group on BAT/BEP explaining that: its
first meeting will be held prior to INC-7; the INC shall identify
two interim co-chairs; the Expert Group will have balanced
representation among developed countries, developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, as well as representation
from intergovernmental organizations, and environmental and industry
organizations; and participants should have expertise in technical
issues and/or relevant environmental policy and/or the functioning
of the Stockholm Convention.
POPRC contact group Co-Chairs Fatoumata Jallow Ndoye (The Gambia)
and Reiner Arndt (Germany) reported that participants agreed: to the
task and size of the Committee; that work will be based on
scientific evaluation followed by risk management evaluation; and
that meetings would be held in English. Participants also agreed the
Rotterdam Convention model was a good starting point on how to
resolve issues of conflict of interest. Participants failed to agree
on the POPRC composition, on an expert nomination procedure, and on
The contact group on technical assistance, co-chaired by
Christopher Corbin (Saint Lucia) and Jozef Buys (Belgium), met in
the evening to discuss four draft decisions (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/
CRP.12). The group managed to finalize the draft decisions on
guidance on technical assistance and on the feasibility study on
regional and subregional centers, but did not have time to resolve
decisions on the pilot project on regional and subregional centers
and on the CAN.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Although Switzerlandï¿½s offer to fund COP-1 in Uruguay comes as
little surprise to delegates, many nevertheless speculate that, by
presenting its offer, Switzerland is looking for GRULAC support in
its bid to host the Stockholm Convention Secretariat in Geneva. Some
speculate that this arrangement may have affected the outcome of
deliberations in the contact group on technical assistance, but were
noticeably more reticent when asked if they thought it would
prejudice the outcome of todayï¿½s World Cup matches.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Plenary is expected to convene at 10:15 am to,
inter alia, continue its discussion on monitoring and
evaluation, hear reports from Co-Chairs of the technical assistance
contact group and the Legal Drafting Group, and address the article
WORLD CUP FOOTBALL: World Cup quarterfinals will be televised
at the coffee bar on the ground floor. England will play Brazil at
8:30 am, and Germany will play the US at 1:30 pm.