Highlights and images of main proceedings for 8 May 2019

Switzerland

Summary

Highlights for Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Delegates raise their placards as they participate in the first COP vote in the Rotterdam Convention’s 20-year history

BRS COPs On the ninth day of the 2019 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, delegates convened in plenary to address two significant agenda items under the Rotterdam Convention: compliance and listing of chemicals in Annex III.After 15 years of negotiations to define and establish procedures and a mechanism to support compliance with the provisions of the Rotterdam Convention, there was widespread support for the creation of a non-punitive mechanism that would facilitate parties’ implementation of their obligations. Parties came close to achieving consensus at the last two meetings, and at COP9, only one party continued to block agreement. When it became clear that consensus would not be possible, parties took the unprecedented and historic step of voting to create a new Annex to the Convention which sets out procedures and mechanisms to facilitate compliance. This new mechanism will assist parties to identify and address gaps in complying with the Convention, with the aim of ensuring that governments have the information they need about hazardous chemicals to assess the risks and take informed decisions when importing chemicals.In the afternoon, the COP turned to some of the core work of the Rotterdam Convention: the Chemical Review Committee’s recommendations to list chemicals in Annex III. The Committee has recommended listing two severely hazardous pesticide formulations (SHPFs) - fenthion and paraquat - as well as the chemicals acetochlor, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), phorate, carbosulfan, and chrysotile asbestos. Listing chemicals under the Rotterdam Convention does not constitute a ban, but subjects them to the prior informed consent procedure between exporting and importing countries. Agreement to list HBCD and phorate was swift. Discussions on acetochlor, carbosulfan, paraquat, fenthion and chrysotile asbestos were more difficult, however, with many delegates objecting to listing chemicals that are widely used in their countries. The different views on chrysotile asbestos, which has been on the COP’s agenda since 2006, once again proved to be insurmountable; the issue will be forwarded to COP10 for further discussion.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
The Rotterdam Convention COP9 President consults with the BRS Conventions Secretariat and Legal Team
Christina Paradiso, Canada
Fredrick Mupoti Sikabongo, Namibia
Ken Mizuchi, Japan
Amadou Camara, Mali
Moussa Sow, Mauritania
Thilaagem Mathew, Malaysia
Dilli Ram Sharma, Nepal
Francis Kihumba Njuguna, Kenya
Marina Carrilho Soares, Brazil
Delegates vote to create a new annex that will establish a compliance mechanism for the Rotterdam Convention, with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of implementation
Delegates applaud the adoption of Annex VII to establish a compliance mechanism
Tadesse Amera Sahilu, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)
Roland Mario Dieterle, CropLife International
Contact Groups
Contact Group on Rotterdam Convention Effectiveness
View of the dais during the Contact Group on Technical Assistance and Financial Resources
Afternoon Plenary: Rotterdam Convention
Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez, Rotterdam Convention COP9 President
Suzana Andrejevic Stefanovic, Serbia
Wilfredo Roldan, the Philippines
Doaa Abdallah, Palestine
Charles Ikeah, Nigeria
Chantha Moch, Cambodia
Natalia Kostenko, Russian Federation
Amina Beibitova, Kazakhstan
Yelba de López González, Nicaragua
Meriel Watts, Pesticide Action Network (PAN)
Carolyn Vickers, World Health Organization (WHO)
Halshka Graczyk, International Labour Organization (ILO)
Bernhard Herold, Solidar Suisse
Subono, a victim of chrysotile asbestos, speaking on behalf of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA)
Around the Venue
Delegates from Colombia and Uruguay consult
Delegates from Panama
Delegates from Kazakhstan
Delegates from Moldova
Joe DiGangi, IPEN, speaks with delegates from India
Delegates from Burkina Faso
Delegates from Côte d'Ivoire
Delegates from Norway
Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President
Delegates from Romania and the EU
Delegates from the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Delegates from Montenegro

Participants

Negotiating blocs
European Union