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Fifth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS INC-5)
Johannesburg, South Africa; 4 - 9 December, 2000


Wednesday, 6 December

Delegates met in morning, afternoon and evening Plenary sessions to consider Articles H (Public information, awareness and education), I (Research, development and monitoring), E (Implementation plans), D (Measures to reduce or eliminate releases), L (Reporting) and L bis (Effectiveness evaluation), M (Non-compliance), N (Settlement of disputes), and O (Conference of Parties). The Contact Groups on Prohibition and Restriction, and on Byproducts also convened.

Left: main entrance of the The Sandton Convention Center, site of POPs-5. More images of the SCC below.

Research, Development and Monitoring (Article I): Delegates agreed Parties shall "encourage and/or undertake" appropriate research, development, monitoring and cooperation pertaining to POPs "and, where relevant, to their alternatives." The UKRAINE added candidate POPs.
On specific requirements under Article I, THE GAMBIA advocated "national and" international efforts to strengthen, inter alia, research capabilities. Delegates agreed. She also proposed a provision on gearing research towards alleviating effects of POPs on reproductive health, which was bracketed.
Implementation Plans (Article E): PAKISTAN proposed, and delegates accepted, text on updating plans at "periodic" instead of "regular" intervals.
Public Information, Awareness and Education (Article H): The text proposed by the US on developing mechanisms, such as PRTRs, for collecting and disseminating information was supported by several other delegations

Wastes (Article D4): The European Commission (left), on behalf of the EU (represented by France, on the right) noted its proposal (UNEP/POPS/INC.5/CRP.51) that: POPs wastes should be destroyed or transformed into a non-POP product, and if not possible, only environmentally sound manner disposal be permitted; proposes close cooperation between the POPs and Basel Conventions; specifically mentions POPs-contaminated products; and POPs wastes should not be recycled.
RealAudio of the EU statement

The US accepted reference to the Basel Convention and supported lifting of all brackets. He noted that waste has been a difficult issue at INC4 and that the Chair's text strikes an acceptable balance.
RealAudio of the US statement

BELGIUM supported EU text stating that not all Basel disposal methods are applicable to POPs. He noted that in a certain sense there are two Basel Convention regimes; because there is "an important gap" between those countries that have ratified the Convention and those that have not.
RealAudio of Belgium's statement

Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China introduces its CRP on Finances (Article K), and Chair Buccini reacts. Debate on Article K was suspended until Thursday morning.

Left: Nigerian delegate having a post-Plenary discussion with Mohamed El-Ashry, CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The Sandton Convention Center:

In the corridors...

Murmurs of concern sounded in some quarters Wednesday over the pace of progress at INC-5. Several participants observed that a mushrooming of contact groups and the revisiting of old debates, on wastes for instance, did not bode well for clearing the numerous remaining brackets. Although an eagerly anticipated and potentially catalytic G-77/China CRP on financial mechanisms improved prospects for momentum, some cautioned that issues such as interim measures, the precautionary principle, draft decisions for the Diplomatic Conference and reviewing the entire convention could take up significantly more time than anticipated.

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