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Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS-4)
Photos and RealAudio of 21 March

Tuesday, 21 March:

After a brief morning Plenary to hear updates from working groups, the IAG continued consideration of technical assistance (Article J) and financial resources and mechanisms (Article K), and the NG discussed national implementation plans (Article E) opened debate on measures to reduce or eliminate releases (Article D).

Chair Maria Cristina Cardenas Fischer (Colombia), Chair of the Implementation Aspects Group, briefed Plenary on the working group's progress.
THE POPS CLUB: Jim Willis, Head of UNEP Chemicals, awarded certificates and pins to heads of delegations in recognition of their governments support for the POPs negotiation process. Awards were given to Japan, France, the Netherlands, Germany (above), Thailand (left) and the European Commission (below). The POPs negotiations are entirely financed by government donations.
Negotiating Group: Debate on Article D (Measures to Reduce or Eliminate Releases)
ARGENTINA called for clarification that the article was addressing unintentionally produced by-products
GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL urged delegates to appreciate that "the future of the planet is in your hands." He expressed alarm at those delegates who opposed elimination, and suggested that the comments, mainly from JUSCANZ, were based on political rather than technical considerations.
Paul Whylie, the delegate from JAMAICA, urged the Negotiation Group to set its sights on the ultimate elimination of by-product POPs. He recalled a lesson that his daughter had been taught at school: "the litte girl who says I can't, gets the bottom spot." He noted that most delegates were able to attend this meeting as a direct result of the actions of those who had once said they would do the impossible - make man fly. He urged them not to miss an important opportunity to write history by failing to seize the possibility of agreeing to eliminate by-product POPs.
THAILAND emphasized difficulties in promoting control
measures without financial commitments, techniques and expertise.
Members of the US and Japanese delegations chatting over coffee and tea during a short recess.
NORWAY stressed that best available technologies be obligatory for all new major sources. He proposed text promoting the use of available substitute materials, products and techniques.
The EU emphasized that the text should reflect a long-term political commitment to the "elimination" of by-products, arguing that elimination is not the same as reduction to zero.
The US noted that inclusion of elimination language might limit addition of other by-products to the related Annex C on chemicals subject to release reporting and release reduction or elimination measures. The US proposed including reference to elimination in the preamble and objective.
Chair Buccini established a contact group, chaired by Halldor Thorgeirsson (Iceland, pictured here), to address, inter alia: bracketed chapeau language regarding elimination; proposals by the EU, Norway and Nigeria on substitute materials; the provision related to national action plans; the concept of anthropogenic sources; and Annex C.

Side-Event: Joint UNEP/GEF Presentation
The United Nations Environmental Programme and the Global Environmental Facility held a lunch-time side-event to inform INC participants on their joint activities. Andrea Merla, GEF Secretariat (below, second from the left), desribed the different types of projects that make up the GEF Portfolio on Persistant Toxic Substances (PTS).
Dr. Bo Wahlstrom, UNEP Chemicals (second from the right), presented the GEF's upcoming Regionally Based Assessment of PTS, a 2-year, US$5 million project. Fatoumata Ouane, UNEP Chemicals (far right), outlined the National Management Needs Assessment for PTS, a project still in the development stage.
Side-Event: US delegation consultation with NGOs and Industry
The US delegation held an informal consultation with American NGOs and industry representatives. The closed session's purpose was to seek input from the invitees and to clarify the US position.

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