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Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS-4)
Photos and RealAudio of 23 March

Thursday, 23 March:

Update: Day four of INC-4

Delegates met in Plenary throughout the day to address the annexes detailing information requirements for listing of chemicals (Annexes D, E and F), and considered, under measures to reduce or eliminate releases (Article D): new chemicals; prohibition on the production and use of certain POPs; and restriction on the production and use of certain POPs. Plenary also received the IAG's report and briefly discussed technical assistance (Article J).

Delegates were greeted this morning by two dance groups from Northern Canada who performed traditional dancing and singing. The performances served to draw attention to the threat that POPs present to inhabitants of the Arctic regions. Polar inhabitant suffer disproportionately from POPs-related health problems because the pollutants migrate to the polar regions, which is due to global climate patterns and the fact that POPs accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals.
Above: members of the Tagish Nation Dance Group. Right and below left: Asquarniit (Inuit) performers during their presentation of drumming, dancing and throat singing. Below, right: Elders and Chiefs held a press conference after the performances.

Dr. Bo Wahlstrom (on the right), speaking on behalf of the Secretariat, outlined the development of the annexes on information requirements for listing of substances, noting the high degree of consensus achieved at previous meetings.

Chair Buccini, Jim Willis (UNEP Chemicals) and Wahlstrom going over a submission for amendment. Note the Inuit statue on the left, given to Buccini at POPs INC-2.

On the information requirements that parties proposing additional POPs are to provide (Annex D), the EU (pictured here) specified that this information be "on the properties of the substance and its transformation products, where relevant." The US preferred information "on the substance, and its transformation products, where appropriate," and delegates agreed.
Peter Hinchcliffe (UK), Chair of the contact group on the management and disposal of wastes, noted agreement on the majority of text despite deeply held positions. He said the remaining brackets relate mainly to technical detail, and can be resolved easily. He introduced the revised text forwarded by the contact group, which, inter alia, streamlines stockpiles and wastes into one provision, and, regarding disposal, calls for consistency with the Basel Convention, where appropriate.
Concerning "cooperate to" provide technical assistance, the PHILIPPINES called to delete "cooperate to," noting that this, "upon request," and similar language is designed to allow developed countries to evade their responsibilities in eliminating POPs.
KUWAIT supported provision for destruction of stockpiles of POPs and a prohibition on their transit.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION noted the role of volatility in secondary emissions, and stressed its inclusion in the evaluation of potential for long-range transport.

Side-Event: GTZ presentation on POPs-related projects

Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation, GTZ) held a lunch-time gathering to brief INC-4 participants on some of its projects to implement measures on the reduction or elimination of POPs. Ingrid Hoven, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, second from the right) introduced Germany's policy on international cooperation in the area of chemicals management. Matthias Kern, GTZ (second from the left), discussed a project assessing dioxin and furan emissions in Thailand. Christopher Heuschkel, GFA International Health Consultants (far left), outlined the GTZ's experiences in malaria control and highlighted the successful results of a project to promote the use of pyrethroid-treated bed nets and curtains. Suzanne Scholaen, GTZ, moderated the panel. For more information, please consult the GTZ web site.

Evening reception
The German government held a reception for INC-4 participants at the Museum of Modern German History.
INC participants were entertained by members of the Asquarniit (Inuit, above) and Tagish (below) dance groups from Northern Canada.
Bob Charlie, Chief of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, presented the Government of Germany with a plaque to thank it for its hospitality and support for the people of the Arctic region.
The German delegation with their new plaque, which will soon be hanging in the halls of the Ministry of Environment in Berlin.

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