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Eighth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for an international legally binding instrument for the application of the Prior Informed Consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade

Rome, Italy 8-12 October 2001

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Update for Thursday, 11 October 2001  

On the fourth day of INC-8, delegates met briefly in Plenary to hear reports from the Working Groups, then reconvened in the Working Groups to discuss discontinuation of the interim prior informed consent (PIC) procedure and conflict of interest in the Interim Chemical Review Committee (ICRC). The Legal Drafting Group also convened to discuss financial rules and non-compliance. 
Left photo: INC Chair Maria Celina de Azevedo Rodrigues during the brief morning plenary.


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Patrick Szell (UK) (left), Legal Drafting Group Chair, presented the results of the group's discussion on rules of procedure. He said the group suggested the following: on frequency of meetings, that the 2nd and 3rd COPs be held annually and every two years thereafter; regarding observers, to accept the original rule with the note on the importance of documentation for the COP being circulated well in advance; on the term of office, that the President and the Bureau be elected at the closure of the COP and serve until the closure of the following COP; on determining a quorum for a decision on a matter within the competence of a regional economic integration organization (REIO), that the REIO is entitled to cast its votes in accordance with Article 23; and that the rule on secret ballot remain unchanged.


Gerardo Viña-Vizcaino (Colombia), Chair of the Working Group on conflict of interest, presented the main recommendations of the Group, including: incorporating the main elements of the code of conduct of the Montreal Protocol into the decision on conflict of interest; and assessing conflict of interest based on the criteria set out in the declaration of interest in a consistent manner and on a case-by-case basis.

The Working Group on Discontinuation reconvened following morning Plenary to discuss its draft report, specifically with respect to recommendations offered during Wednesday's session. Discussion focused on minor alterations to the report's wording.

Delegates did not reach consensus regarding the composition of the PIC regions, leaving two options: one stating that the new PIC regions adopted at COP-1 should be based on the geographical distribution of the Parties at that time; and the second, suggested by AUSTRALIA, stating that the PIC regions adopted at COP-1 should be based on the regions used during the interim PIC procedure, pending consideration of the geographical distribution of Parties at that time.
On inclusion of chemicals in Annex III that were included in the interim PIC procedure before COP-1, but are not yet listed in Annex III, the US suggested, and delegates accepted, text specifying that chemicals added to the interim PIC procedure "prior to the entry into force of the Convention" will have met the requirements of the Convention. Left photo L-R: Bernard Madé (Canada) in discussion with Marie Ricciardonel (US).
Delegates discussed a revised decision based on the previous day's discussions regarding a procedure to avoid conflicts of interest. The Chair noted that the issues of confidentiality and restrictions to the release of information contained in the declarations of interest remained unresolved. Delegates discussed cases where further clarification might be requested from an expert and debated the manner in which the expert and the designating country would be notified.
EGYPT (right) distinguished between requesting further clarification as to the suitability of an expert and requesting a government not to designate the expert. The EC said the Bureau cannot request anything from the government, but that it can examine the information and make a recommendation to the INC.
CANADA suggested language stating that depending on the circumstances, the Secretariat could refer the matter to the INC Bureau for resolution with the nominating government. The Chair stressed that the Secretariat would play an administrative role rather than a decision-making role, noting that the Bureau could take a decision and that notifications could be given by the Secretariat. The Secretariat suggested not referring to itself at this point, reiterating that the Bureau would make a recommendation for settling the matter with the government.

AUSTRALIA pointed out that more detail was included in the draft decision, and the Chair asked the Secretariat to incorporate ideas from the draft decision into the proposed procedure.

The US (right) and AUSTRIA said that information on interests relating to those industries could be useful.

ENB Summary of PIC-7
ENB Daily website coverage, photos, Real Audio files and daily reports from PIC-7
Report of the second session of the Interim Chemical Review Committee
PIC (Rotterdam Convention) web site with Meetings and documents
ENB's Introduction to Chemical Management
Joint UNEP Chemicals/WHO GEENET Project

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