Highlights and images of main proceedings for 29 April 2019

Switzerland

Summary

Highlights for Monday, 29 April 2019

Delegates gather for the start of the BRS COPs

BRS COPs The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel Convention (BC COP14), the ninth meeting of the COP to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP9), and the ninth meeting of the COP to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP9) opened in Geneva, Switzerland. Meeting jointly in plenary in the morning and early afternoon, the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) COPs adopted the agendas and organization of work for each COP, and initiated discussions on technical assistance and financial resources under the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions, and financial resources and mechanisms under the Stockholm Convention.Regional groups used their opening statements to call for urgent action on emerging issues, such as marine plastic litter and microplastics, as well as longstanding challenges ranging from management of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the establishment of compliance mechanisms under the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. In the discussion of technical assistance, many delegates underscored the importance of regional centres in supporting parties’ implementation of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions through capacity building. Several called for additional resources to deal with issues such as existing and new POPs, marine litter, and plastic waste, and noted that technical assistance is closely linked to compliance.In the afternoon, the Stockholm Convention COP convened to begin discussions of listing of chemicals in Annex A (elimination), B (reduction) and/or C (unintentional releases). After brief discussions, delegates decided to list the pesticide dicofol in Annex A of the Convention with no exemptions for continued production or use. Delegates then considered the POPs Review Committee’s recommendation to list perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in Annex A or B, and agreed to establish a contact group for further work on this issue.As the first day of the Triple COPs drew to a close, delegates celebrated what many characterized as an unexpectedly quick decision on dicofol, but also noted issues that were likely to be more challenging. Several pointed to the Rotterdam Convention's compliance mechanism and listing PFOA in the Stockholm Convention as particularly tricky, with several highlighting the need for technical assistance and financial resources to support parties’ work to implement the Conventions.For more details on the day's events and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the 2019 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. The summary and analysis report is available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

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Opening Plenary
The BRS COPs opened with a traditional Swiss performance
Marc Chardonnens, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President
Hans Dreyer, Executive Secretary, Rotterdam Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, BRS Conventions
Morning Plenary
Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President; Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez, Rotterdam Convention COP9 President; and Abraham Zivayi Matiza, Basel Convention COP14 President, open the discussions
Natalia Rodriguez Pacheco, Bolivia, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Serge Molly Allo'o Allo'o, Gabon, speaking on behalf of the African Group
Heidar Ali Balouji, Iran, speaking on behalf of Asia-Pacific
Flavius Ardelean Motoc, EU
Rolando Pinzon, Panama
Pralong Dumrongthai, Thailand
Elham Refaat Abdel Aziz, Egypt
Keima Gardiner, Trinidad and Tobago
Ana Berejiani, Georgia
Zaigham Abbas, Pakistan
Chizuru Aoki, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Afternoon Plenary
View of the dais during the afternoon plenary
Roxanne Blesam, Palau
Luis Vayas, Ecuador
Yaser Khalil Abu Shanab, Palestine
S L Dhammika Wijayasinghe, Sri Lanka
Charles Ikeah, Nigeria
Nazem Thlaj, Syria
Xuezhi Xiao, China
María Florencia Grimalt, Argentina
Obed Baloyi, South Africa
Mariann Lloyd-Smith, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)
Siqiniq Maupin, speaking on behalf of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, International Indian Treaty Council, and Native Movement
Mick Tisbury, speaking on behalf of Australian, New Zealand, and North American firefighters
Delegates applaud the decision to list dicofol in Annex A of the SC without exemption
Evening Reception hosted by Switzerland
View of the dais during the opening session
Felix Wertli, Switzerland
Hans Dreyer, Executive Secretary, Rotterdam Convention, FAO
Around the Venue
(L-R): Hans Dreyer, Executive Secretary, Rotterdam Convention, FAO; Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, BRS Conventions; Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President; Marc Chardonnens, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland; Felix Wertli, Switzerland; and Carlos Martin-Novella, BRS Deputy Executive Secretary
Delegates from Uganda
Delegates from Costa Rica
Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, BRS Conventions, speaks with Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President
Delegates from the Pacific region
David Ogden, BRS Secretariat
Delegates speak informally
Delegates between sessions
Materials on display

Participants