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2017 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the
Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

24 April - 5 May 2017 | Geneva, Switzerland

Summary Highlights for the BRS COPs

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27 Apr
28 Apr
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Summary
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Sam Adu-Kumi, Stockholm Convention COP 8 President, Franz Perrez, Rotterdam Convention COP 8 President, and Mohammed Khashashneh, Basel Convention COP 13 President, share a moment

The BRS COPs are gaveled to a close


Highlights for Friday, 5 May 2017

The meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions concluded on Friday. In the morning, the high-level segment continued. Tim Kasten, UN Environment, reported from ministers roundtable discussions on the theme “A Future Detoxified: the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes.” Ministers, Vice-Ministers and Ambassadors then engaged in an interactive discussion.

In the afternoon, the COPs adopted their outstanding decisions. Basel Convention COP13 President Mohammed Khashashneh noted that May 5, 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Basel Convention. Closing the meeting, BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet and Rotterdam Convention Executive Secretary – Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) Bill Murray thanked delegates for their diligence and efforts to realize cooperation.

The Basel Convention COP 13 gaveled to a close at 6:35 pm. The Rotterdam Convention COP 8 gaveled to a close at 6:39 pm. The Stockholm Convention COP 8 gaveled to a close at 6:40 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided digital coverage, daily reports and a summary and analysis report from the 2017 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Ministerial Panel during the High-Level Segment


Sundus Omar Ali, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iraq

Marcos Alegre, Vice Minister of Environmental Management, Peru


Kare Chawicha Debessa, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Ethiopia

Walter Garcia, Minister of Environment, Ecuador

Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change, Burkina Faso


BRS COPs family photo


Highlights for Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conferences of the Parties (COPs) continued Thursday, meeting jointly in the morning to hear reports from contact groups and to adopt a decision “From science to action.” The Basel Convention COP met to adopt decisions in the morning, followed by the Rotterdam Convention COP’s discussion of compliance, which continued in the late afternoon. The budget contact group met throughout the day. Contact groups on technical assistance and financial resources, and Stockholm Convention compliance also met.

The High-Level Segment convened in the afternoon, starting with a ceremony to recognize the seven countries that recently ratified the Ban Amendment. In speeches that followed, several highlighted the need for cooperation to realize a detoxified future.

Side events during lunchtime were held on the ‘Internet plus’ sustaining Convention implementation; opportunities for collecting and sharing information on Severely Hazardous Pesticides Formulations; asbestos-related diseases in Asia and the need to improve the effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention; and chrysotile asbestos and labor unions’ role in the sound management of chemicals.

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Negotiations among China, Canada, the EU and Argentina


Naoko Ishii, CEO, GEF

Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment


Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, FAO

Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights


COP Presidents and BRS Secretariat consult at the beginning of the afternoon plenary


Highlights for Wednesday, 3 May 2017

On Wednesday morning, the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions convened jointly in plenary to hear reports from contact groups. Rotterdam Convention COP 8 convened in the morning and afternoon to consider issues related to rules of procedure for the COP, implementation, and listing of chemicals in Annex III to the Convention.

The BRS COPs reconvened jointly in the mid-afternoon to consider issues related to international cooperation and coordination.

Contact groups convened throughout the day, including on budget, technical assistance and financial resources, Stockholm Convention (SC) Compliance, and Rotterdam Convention (RC) effectiveness. A Friends of the President group on RC compliance also met in the morning.

Side events were held on: addressing highly hazardous pesticides in the Southern African Developing Countries (SADC); lessons and best practices integrating gender into implementation; the contribution of the BRS conventions to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and UN Development Program’s (UNDP) experiences on mainstreaming gender into the sound management of chemicals.

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View of the dais during morning plenary


Mohamed Abdellahi, Mauritania

Lupe Matoto, Tonga


Wiranta Ginting and Siti Kristina, Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA)


Delegates huddle during the Budget Group


Highlights for Tuesday, 2 May 2017

On Tuesday morning, the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions convened jointly in plenary to hear reports from contact groups. Rotterdam Convention COP 8 then convened to consider issues including listing of chemicals in Annex III to the Convention. Contact groups on budget and BC compliance met in parallel to plenary.

A contact group on SC compliance met during the lunch break.

In the afternoon, Basel Convention COP 13 convened in plenary to consider matters related to the implementation of the Convention, including technical matters, partnerships and compliance. Contact groups on synergies, BC Compliance, and technical assistance and financial resources met into the evening.

Side events were held during lunch on: electronic report systems of the BC and SC; how the BC could support implementation of regional conventions on transboundary movements on hazardous waste; and how multilateral environmental agreements address environmental concerns. In the evening, side events included a screening of the film “Death by Design” and sessions on paraquat and on cooperation between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and BRS Conventions.

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Delegates applaud the adoption of the 50th chemical listed under the Rotterdam Convention


Felix Tchabi, Benin

Silvija Kalniņš, Latvia, Co-Chair of the open-ended Contact Group to develop a way forward on enhancing effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention


Francis Kihumba, Kenya

Shunsuke Kudo, Japan

Jacinthe Séguin, Canada, Co-Chair of the Contact Group on Basel Convention Technical Matters


Members of IPEN hold a demonstration urging delegates to take concrete action during the negotiations


Highlights for Monday, 1 May 2017

Plenary convened in a joint session of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention COPs on Monday morning to hear reports from contact groups. In the morning, Basel Convention (BC) COP 13 convened to consider issues related to the BC Partnership Programme. The Stockholm Convention (SC) COP 8 convened in the late morning to take several decisions, including on the listing of HCBD, decaBDE and SCCPs.

In the afternoon, BC COP 13 convened briefly to adopt two decisions, including on the Cartagena Declaration. This was followed by a short session of the SC COP 8, during which delegates adopted a decision on PCBs.

Contact groups met throughout the day to address: budget, BC compliance, BC technical matters, BC strategic matters, and Rotterdam Convention effectiveness. In addition, informal groups met on financial resources and on PCBs.

Side events were held during the lunch break and in the evening to address a range of topics, including: improving national reporting under the BC; the roadmap for activities under the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE); a synergetic approach to the BRS and Minamata Conventions; development of tools to counter illegal management and trade of waste; using the Bamako and Basel Conventions to stop the export to Africa of toxic substances and waste; and the e-trash transparency project.

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Decisions specific to the Stockholm Convention are adopted


Yorg Aerts, Belgium, Co-Chair of the Contact Group on Basel Convention Strategic Matters

Juan Ignacio Simonelli, Argentina, Co-Chair of the Contact Group on Basel Convention Compliance

Magda Gosk, Poland, Co-Chair of Contact Group on Basel Convention Technical Matters


Henry Williams, Liberia

Leila Devia, Argentina, Chair of ENFORCE



Highlights for Saturday, 29 April 2017

On Saturday morning, the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions convened in plenary to hear reports from the contact groups. Basel Convention (BC) COP13 convened for the rest of the day.

In the morning, delegates addressed issues including work done to improve legal clarity of the Convention, efforts to combat illegal traffic, and operation of the Open-Ended Working Group. In the afternoon, delegates considered work related to classification and hazard characterization of wastes, national reporting, environmentally sound dismantling of ships, and cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Contact groups met throughout the day, including on synergies and joint issues, technical assistance and financial resources, budget, BC strategic matters and BC technical matters.

Side events on mercury waste management and the PACE outcomes were held during the lunch break. In the evening, delegates attended a reception hosted by the Swiss Federal Council, the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and The Executive Council of the City of Geneva.

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View of the dais during the afternoon plenary


Julie Croteau, Canada

Subol Bose Moni, Bangladesh

Vilma Morales Quillama, Peru


Fuatino Matatumua-Leota, Samoa

Sigurbjörg Sæmundsdóttir, Iceland


Contact Group on Technical Assistance and Financial Resources


Highlights for Friday, 28 April 2017

The Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions convened on Friday morning to hear reports from the contact groups. Rotterdam Convention COP 8 convened briefly in the morning to discuss the listing chemicals in Annex III. The Basel Convention then convened to address technical guidelines (excluding POPs waste), the strategic framework, the follow-up to the Indonesian-Swiss country-led initiative to improve the effectiveness of the Basel Convention, and the Cartagena Declaration.

In the afternoon, Stockholm Convention COP 8 met to hear an update from the Friends of the President group on compliance, adopt the report of the meeting and decisions on: PFOS, its salts and PFOSF; national implementation plans; and operation of the POPs Review Committee. The BRS COPs then met jointly to adopt a decision on gender mainstreaming and the section of the reports on the joint sessions of the meetings of the COPs.

Contact groups on budget, Stockholm Convention listing, and enhancing the effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention met in the morning, and Basel Convention strategic matters and compliance in the afternoon.

Five side events were held on Friday, including on: household waste and the Basel Convention; a launch of the ISO guidance principles for sustainable management of secondary metals; a screening of the film “Trashed;” and the launch of the toolkit for environmentally sound management of waste.

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View of the dais during the morning plenary


Maureen Njeri, Kenya

Azizan bin Ahmad, Malaysia

Yadira de los Angeles Pilco Pavón, Ecuador


Humphrey Mwale, Zambia, Co-Chair of the Friends of the President Group on Stockholm Convention Compliance

Tamara Kukharchyk, Belarus



Highlights for Thursday, 27 April 2017

The BRS Conference of the Parties (COPs) convened on Thursday first as joint COPs to hear updates from the contact groups. Stockholm Convention (SC) COP8 then met in plenary to discuss matters related to the implementation of the Convention, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and national implementation plans (NIPs). Also in the morning, a Friends of the President group on SC compliance, the Basel Convention (BC) technical matters contact group and the SC listing group met, the last quickly closing to observers.

In the afternoon, the Rotterdam Convention COP8 convened to discuss listing of chemicals, and the BC technical matters and synergies and joint issues contact groups met. The Budget Group, the technical assistance and financial resources, and SC listing contact groups met in the evening.

During the day a technology fair was opened. Side events were also held to showcase regional demonstrations of chemicals and wastes-related Conventions' synergies; new tools and approaches to monitoring persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and emerging pollutants; and, setting up extended producer responsibility legislation in non-OECD countries for electric and electronic waste.

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COP Presidents and the BRS Secretariat speak internally at the start of plenary


Sobkika Tanka, Chad

Khidir Gibril Musa, Sudan

Alexandra Caterbow, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)


Nazem Thalaj, Syria

A.Z. Matiza, Zimbabwe

Andrew Dettmer, IndustriALL 


Three ribbons are cut to open the Technology Fair


Highlights for Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The BRS Conferences of the Parties (COPs) continued Wednesday, first hearing reports from the contact groups. The Stockholm Convention (SC) COP convened throughout the day considering several matters related to implementation of the Convention, including measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional production and use and measures to reduce or eliminate releases from unintentional production. Also during the morning, the Basel Convention (BC) technical matters and synergies and joint issues contact groups met.

Over lunch, the Budget Group convened. Side events on the electronic reporting formats of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and measuring the effectiveness of the Stockholm Convention.

In the afternoon, the technical assistance and financial resources and SC listing contact groups met. In the evening, BC technical matters, technical assistance and financial resources and SC listing contact groups continued.

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Budget Group


Abdulkarim Hasan Rashed, Bahrain

Jean Claude Emene, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Karissa Kovner, US

Imogen Ingram, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)

Thiyu Kohoga Essobiyou, Togo


Adel Shafei Mohamed Osman, Egypt


Highlights for Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The BRS Conventions COPs continued Tuesday. Meeting jointly in the morning, the COPs discussed: enhancing cooperation and coordination among the BRS Conventions; compliance; scientific and technical matters; and other matters. Contact groups were established on BC compliance and legal matters, SC compliance, and scientific and technical matters.

During lunch, side events met to discuss work under the theme of “science to action” and the evolution of the science associated with understanding and identifying persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

In the afternoon, the COPs met jointly to discuss the programme of work and budget and admission of observers. The COPs adopted a decision on the date and venue of the next COPs to occur in 2019. Then, Stockholm Convention COP8 met in plenary, discussing the rules of procedure, the effectiveness evaluation, listing of decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) in the Stockholm Convention.

The joint contact groups for technical assistance and financial resources, and synergies and joint issues met throughout the day. In the evening, contact groups on Stockholm Convention compliance and on scientific and technical matters.

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Delegates from Belarus


Sam Adu-Kumi, Stockholm Convention COP8 President

Yvonne Ewang-Sanvincenti, BRS Conventions Secretariat


Momodou Jama Suwareh, the Gambia

Shweta Narayan, IPEN

Mohammed Abdelsalam Abdelhamid Esshahed, Egypt


The 'Geneva Bus' outside the venue showcases hazardous substances and provides information on how the Government of Switzerland has made efforts to reduce these substances


Highlights for Monday, 24 April 2017

The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel Convention (BC COP13), eighth meeting of the COP to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP8), and eighth meeting of the COP to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP8) began in Geneva, Switzerland.

Meeting jointly in plenary throughout the day, the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) COPs first heard opening statements. Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment noted that the BRS Conventions cover the “worst chemicals,” and drew linkages between the work of these COPs and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Minamata Convention. Delegates then adopted the agendas and organization of work for each of the COPs, and discussed coordination and cooperation among the BRS Conventions. The COPs established a joint contact group on the review of synergies arrangements.

During lunch, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) hosted a side event discussing past and future programming for impact. The International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) held an event titled: “Toxic toy or toxic waste? Recycling POPs into new products.” In the afternoon, the COPs discussed matters related to the implementation of the Conventions, including international cooperation and coordination, technical assistance and financial resources. The COPs then established a joint contact group on technical assistance and financial resources.

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A yodelling performance opens the meeting


Mohammed Khashashneh, Basel Convention COP 13 President

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, BRS Conventions


Marc Chardonnens, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland

Bill Murray, Executive Secretary, Rotterdam Convention - Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO)


Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment


Specific funding for coverage of the 2017 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, has been provided by the European Union (EU), the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN),
and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
EU FOEN Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Switzerland (FOEN), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).