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Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS-4)
Photos and RealAudio of 24 March

Friday, 24 March:

Delegates met in Plenary throughout the day and evening to discuss measures to reduce or eliminate releases (Article D), technical assistance (Article J) and financial resources and mechanisms (Article K). A contact group on the prohibition and restriction provisions met throughout the day.

Plenary: Financial Resources and Mechanisms (ARTICLE K) :
The GAMBIA underscored the need to reflect shared but differentiated responsibilities.
WWF INTERNATIONAL expressed concern that draft language is being weakened to allow voluntary or token financial support.
Delegates considered two proposed financial mechanisms: the EU, CANADA and the US submissions for existing mechanisms; and the G-77/CHINA submission for establishing a new mechanism. Chair Buccini called for clarification on the submissions' intent.
CANADA (above and left), recognizing additional resources will be required, supported using existing mechanisms to build upon existing POPs activities and to provide faster access to funds. He noted CAN provisions for, inter alia: an inventory of technical assistance sources and requests; advice on requirements for accessing sources; private sector involvement; and identifying and reporting requests for assistance not being met to the COP.
The EU noted its support for strengthening existing mechanisms, and said selecting the GEF is the best way to secure implementation. Noting some countries' concerns with the GEF, he drew attention to a GEF paper that details what would be required to establish an operational POPs programme within the GEF.
The US supported a financial mechanism comprised of the CAN, serving as a broker, and existing entities. He said the COP would provide guidance to the mechanism and, inter alia, identify areas where requests for assistance are not being met and consider policies to strengthen existing funds. He said using existing entities will allow for a synergistic approach.

NIGERIA, BRAZIL, INDIA and CHINA spoke on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, and underscored the importance of establishing an independent multilateral fund.

NIGERIA challenged the contention that establishing a new mechanism would be more costly and time consuming than making necessary modifications to restructure the GEF.

BRAZIL, stressing that developing countries will not adopt an instrument without provision of assistance, requested the EU to elaborate on how it intends to provide funds.

RealAudio of Nigeria and Brazil's statements

Noting the GEF takes its own decisions and decides how funds will be spent, CHINA asked who will guarantee that the GEF will direct sufficient funds to support the POPs convention.
INDIA (left) emphasized that developing countries should not be kept in the dark about what type of assistance will be available. He said the experience of developing countries with the GEF has not been good, and noted frustrations associated with multiple funding sources, including meeting differing criteria and submitting multiple applications.
The CZECH REPUBLIC, on behalf of the Central and Eastern European region, supported using the GEF, rejected assertions that the GEF is inefficient and slow, and supported the CAN. CAMEROON questioned the legality of determining the effecting institution before completing negotiations.

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