Highlights and images of main proceedings for 7 May 2019

Switzerland

Summary

Highlights for Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Members of civil society demonstrate outside the venue, calling for chrysotile asbestos to be included in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention so it can only be traded with 'prior informed consent'

BRS COPs Tuesday’s agenda at the 2019 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention (BRS COPs) was full, with delegates meeting in plenary to address a wide range of issues related to either the Basel or Rotterdam Conventions.In the morning, delegates dealt with initial discussions of two challenging and related issues under the Rotterdam Convention: non-compliance and evaluating the effectiveness of this Convention. While Article 17 of the Convention requires parties to develop and approve procedures and mechanisms for determining non-compliance “as soon as is practicable,” to date, consensus on this issue has been elusive. Previous meetings of the COPs have come close to agreement, and there is widespread support for creating a facilitative, non-punitive mechanism that will promote parties’ work to implement the Convention. However, exactly what this mechanism will look like is still subject to debate. For now, this discussion will take place in a newly-created Friends of the President group which will report back to plenary on Wednesday.Debates on effectiveness evaluation were equally challenging, with delegates discussing proposed amendments to the Convention that would, respectively, change decision-making rules to allow for voting, and mandate provision of financial and technical assistance for developing countries. The former amendment is designed to address a growing problem for the Convention: chemicals for which the COP has agreed all listing criteria are met, but consensus to list them in Annex III has not been reached. To date, four chemicals fall into this category, and demand is growing among delegates keen to ensure that the Rotterdam Convention is able to meet its objective to serve as a mechanism for information exchange. A contact group to tackle this and other aspects of effectiveness met throughout the day, and will report to plenary on Wednesday.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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Plenary: Rotterdam Convention
Delegates during the Rotterdam Convention plenary
Claudia Sorina Dumitru, EU
Xuezhi Xiao, China
Maricela Muñoz, Costa Rica
Frank Molaletsi, Botswana
Yadira González Columbié, Cuba
Hege Jordbakke, Norway
Christian Tebila Kiaku, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ana Berejiani, Georgia
Andrew Clark, US
Ali Mohamed, Sudan
Contact Groups
Contact Group on Plastics
Contact Group on Programme of Work and Budget
Friends of the President on Rotterdam Convention Compliance
Civil Society Demonstration
Civil society representatives from India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, and Switzerland call for chrysotile asbestos to be included in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention
Paul Rose, Explorer and TV presenter, covers the demonstration
Omana George, Asia-Ban Asbestos Network, and Subono, asbestos victim, share their stories
White roses are laid on the floor in rememberance of the estimated 222,000 asbestos disease victims who die every year
Plenary: Rotterdam Convention
The BRS Conventions Secretariat and Basel Convention COP14 President consult on the dais
Aoudou Joswa, Cameroon
Flavius Ardelean Motoc, EU
Momodou Jama Suwareh, the Gambia, consults with the EU
David Ogden, BRS Conventions Secretariat, consults with delegates from India
Delegates from Ethiopia and the EU consult
Delegates applaud the adoption of various decisions
Around the Venue
Members of the BRS Conventions Secretariat, the Rotterdam Convention COP9 President, and the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) Chair, consult on the dais
Franz Perrez, Switzerland
Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez, Rotterdam Convention COP9 President, with Noluzuko 'Zukie' Gwayi, CRC Chair
Delegates from Canada
Students from the Seychelles visit the BRS COPs to gain an understanding about the importance of chemicals management
Delegates from Equatorial Guinea and El Salvador
Delegates representing various industries
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) team make themselves at home at the BRS COPs
The chrysotile booth in the Information Hub
The Norwegian booth in the display area
Postcards sent from different delegations showing their support for the BRS Conventions

Participants

Negotiating blocs
European Union