Highlights and images of main proceedings for 25 November 2020

Delegates on the third day of the virtual combined twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Part I) of the Vienna Convention and thirty-second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP 12(I)/MOP 32) addressed critical-use nominations (CUNs) for methyl bromide, and heard the report of the Implementation Committee (ImpCom) from its sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth meetings. The Budget Committee and the contact group on the Multilateral Fund Replenishment (MLF) also met.

During its presentation, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) stated four CUNs had been received and reviewed: Australia and Canada for strawberry runners; Argentina for strawberry fruit and tomatoes; and South Africa for fumigating mills and houses. Two emergency use applications had also been received: Canada for strawberry nurseries, and Australia for rice. A draft decision containing the four nominations was forwarded for adoption at the High-Level Segment, which is scheduled for Friday, 27 November.

In its presentation to delegates, the ImpCom stated Kazakhstan, Libya and Ukraine are once again in compliance with their obligations under the Montreal Protocol. The ImpCom also considered a new case of noncompliance by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Debate largely centered on ensuring that UN Security Council resolutions regarding the DPRK are adhered to when receiving technical and financial assistance from Protocol implementing agencies. A draft decision including on the noncompliance of DPRK and the reporting of information on using controlled substances as process agents was forwarded to the High-Level Segment for adoption.

Following the plenary session, the MLF Replenishment contact group resumed its consideration of a draft decision to roll over the remaining funds balance from the current fiscal period (2018-2020) to the triennium 2021-2023 to allow the MLF Secretariat to continue operating. They continued their discussion on how to craft decision text reflecting parties’ desire to take a final MLF budget decision in 2021 while acknowledging that there is still uncertainty as to when in-person negotiations can be conducted. They also returned to discussions on ensuring that the funds balance rollover is intended as the interim budget solely for 2021.

Delegates were once again faced with overcoming the difficulties posed by virtual negotiations as issues that were previously able to be ironed out among parties on the sidelines now had to be addressed either in the larger contact group session or by other means such as email. One delegate lamented that this takes extra time, which is still a precious commodity, whether the negotiations are virtual or in-person.

COP 12(I)/MOP 32 is meeting online from 23-27 November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2:00 – 4:00 PM East Africa Time.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin will publish a summary and analysis of the meeting on Monday, 30 November 2020.