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Third Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs-3)

Geneva, Switzerland
6 - 11 Septembre, 1999

On the third day of INC-3, delegates met in a morning Plenary session to hear reports from the LDG and the contact group on prohibition and restrictions and to consider the article on national implementation plans. In the afternoon, the Implementation Group held general discussion on technical assistance and the Negotiation Group discussed the report of the CEG. The contact group on measures to reduce or eliminate POPs releases met throughout the day.

Morning Plenary
LDG Chair Patrick Szell reported on the group's progress. He said the group addressed cleared articles on reporting, settlement of disputes and conference of the parties. The group agreed the compliance article needed further consideration and the article on the relationship with other conventions was of a sensitive policy nature.
Chair Charles Auer (US) reported that the contact group on measures to reduce or eliminate releases had begun to work on general exemptions and annexes. He said some countries expressed concerns over import and export of banned POPs, specifically with respect to the issues of non-Parties and the WTO. He said the US tabled language on exemptions that would help ensure a cost-effective and legally workable convention.
On the EU's call for language to allow for regional plans, NEW ZEALAND stressed the need for a clear obligation on each party to develop a national implementation plan.
The US stated a need to consider the application of the provision on national implementation plans to action plans needed for byproducts.
Implementation Group
Introductory comments and re-cap of the work accomplished at INC-2 by Maria Cristina Cardenas Fischer (Colombia), Chair of the the Implementation Group
PERU underscored the breadth and complexity of the convention.
UNIDO said estimated costs and timetables should be included in national implementation plans.
CANADA said needs and available resources must be identified and coordinated, and proposed a clearing-house mechanism to this end.

GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL stressed the convention's success depends on its ability to transfer capacity to countries in need of assistance.

Left: Mr. Jack Weinberg of Greenpeace discussing with Laura Ivers of the ENB

Special event: Indigenous Peoples video premier

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace co-presented a video documentary entitled "Drum Beat for Mother Earth: POPs and Indigenous Peoples". The video highlighted the effects of POPs on Native populations and cultures. Left and right: scenes from the documentary.

After the presentation of the video, Native activists spoke on the importance of the POPs negotiations and linked environmental rights to their human rights struggles. From left to right: Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Netowrk), Faith Gemmill (Gwich'in Tribe) and Rebecca Sockbeson (Penobscot Nation, Indigenous Network Against Tribal Extinction)
Ms. Sockbeson gave small broom-shaped prayer charms, made from sweetgrass and ash wood by her village elders, to various prominent figures involoved in the POPs negotiations. They were to remind them of the important global clean-up task they are undertaking. Among the recipients were the US delegation (represented here by George Moose, Ambassador to the UN in Geneva), John Buccini (POPs INC Chair), representatives of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several Native rights activists.

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