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Sixth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs INC-6)
Geneva, Switzerland   -   17-21 June 2002
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Tuesday, 18 June:

In the morning, delegates addressed implementation plans, and commenced discussions on technical assistance. In the afternoon, delegates completed deliberations on technical assistance. In the evening, contact groups met briefly to discuss the POPs Review Committee, as well as best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP). From left to right: John Buccini, Chair of the POPs INC; Jim Willis, Head of UNEP Chemicals, and David Ogden, UNEP Chemicals.

Technical assistance under Article 12

Maria Cristina Cardenas Fischer UNEP Chemicals, introduced UNEP/POPS/INC6/16, Technical Assistance under Article 12, on behalf of the Secretariat. The document recommends, inter alia, that INC-6 consider establishing a process for developing guidance on technical assistance, and request the Secretariat to: undertake, in consultation with the Basel Convention Secretariat, a feasibility study on the establishment of regional and subregional centers for capacity building and technology transfer; and develop and conduct a pilot initiative on regional and subregional centers for the purpose of facilitating technical assistance. Jim Willis, Head of UNEP Chemicals, highlighted links with work being done on international environmental governance.

Regarding the feasibility study, Panama, on behalf of GRULAC, emphasized the importance of regional and subregional centers, supported the feasibility study, and favored promoting synergies between the chemical conventions as the best way to consolidate technical assistance.
China cautioned against using the Basel Convention regional centers, citing significant differences between the two Conventions.

Introducing their concept proposal on a capacity assistance network (CAN) (UNEP/POPS/INC.6/19), the Secretariat explained that the CAN is based on institutional elements in the Stockholm Convention, and that national focal points, regional/subregional centers, and the Secretariat would be networked.

In response to questions from delegates, the Secretariat outlined its considerations when drafting the concept proposal, such as avoiding duplications and including developed and developing countries. Chair Buccini added that regional centers and national focal points are mandated under the Convention, and asked if the possible interaction between them is a workable model for the CAN.

Spain, on behalf of the EU, said that for the Union the success of the Stockholm Convention would be measured by the speed with which capacity building technical assistance are delivered. He highlighted overlaps and gaps between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions in terms of technical assistance, and called for increased collaboration among them and with the interim secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention.

The US recommended that guidance for technical assistance be developed only once developing countries have submitted their national implementation plans (NIPs). He said the focus of a feasibility study should not be limited to the Basel Convention regional centers.
Saudi Arabia noted that cooperation with the Basel Convention regional centers may be appropriate for some regions, but not for all.

Canada proposed that countries submit to the Secretariat their views on technical assistance priorities, and that the Secretariat prepare a proposal on this subject. She called for elaborating the relationship between the feasibility study and the pilot initiative.


Willis introduced the topic of best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP), as contained in Article 5 of the Stockholm Convention.

Following general discussion, Chair Bucchini described the mandate of the contact group on BAT and BEP.

New Chairs
Fatoumata Jallow Ndoye (The Gambia), Reiner Arndt (Germany, above right), will chair the contact groups on the POPs Review Committee (POPRC).

Anne Daniel (Canada), newly appointed Chair of the Legal Drafting Group

Reiner Arndt (Germany)
Co-Chairs Arndt and Jallow Ndoye discussing the timing of their contact group's first meeting.

Special presentation on INFOCAP
During the lunch hour, the International Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) held a briefing on and a demonstration of INFOCAP, an online information exchange network on capacity building for the sound management of chemicals. INFOCAP was described as an informal and flexible means of exchange of information among stakeholders on chemical related activities, resources and plans. For more information, please visit
From left to right: Matthias Kern, GTZ; Judy Strober, Executive Director of IFCS; and Craig Boljkovac, UNITAR.

Right: Some delegates spent their lunch break gathered around a telelvision to watch the World Cup game. Note the joyous members of the South Korean delegation, seated on the left.

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