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Report of main proceedings for 13 November 2003

Montreal Protocol MOP 15

The high-level segment commenced with an opening ceremony. Delegates then heard presentations from the Assessment Panels, the Multilateral Fund Executive Committee and implementing agencies, and country statements. In the evening, the Plenary of the preparatory meeting resumed to consider outstanding agenda items. The contact group on methyl bromide met in afternoon and evening, but failed to reach agreement on a final decision.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

OPENING CEREMONY: Marco Gonzlez, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, called the high-level segment of MOP-15 to order at 11:00 am. In his opening remarks, Rukman Senanayake (Sri Lanka), MOP-14 President, said that despite achievements in numerous areas of ozone-layer protection, many ODS still pose a problem and need concerted effort to be phased-out. He urged delegates to implement decisions, once they are adopted at MOP meetings.

Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, made a statement on behalf of Klaus Tpfer, UNEP Executive Director. He commended the evaluation and assessment work done on the ozone layer by various scientific panels, which reported both positive and worrisome findings; they should be used to arrive at sound decisions in order to move forward. He said that the Montreal Protocol, as a test case for all multilateral environmental agreements, must not fail, and full compliance by all Parties is the key. He called for additional contributions to the Multilateral Fund and the Trust Fund of the Montreal Protocol. He announced that Maria Nolan (UK) has been appointed as the new Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund.

Arthur Moody Awori, Vice-President of Kenya, said that the protection of the ozone layer and implementation of the Montreal Protocol are global challenges, and called for, in particular: promoting partnerships among Parties; improving capacity building; promoting public awareness; enhancing national legal and institutional frameworks; and increasing technical and financial resources. He also urged Parties to take note of the experiences and lessons learned by developing countries in the ODS phase-out process.

MOP-14 President Senanayake announced that China, Fiji, Jamaica, and Senegal were winners of the 2003 Outstanding National Units Ozone Award, in appreciation of their work in implementing the Montreal Protocol and protecting the ozone layer.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Delegates elected members of the MOP-15 Bureau: Libor Ambrozek (Czech Republic) as MOP-15 President; Bala Mande (Nigeria), Juan Filpo (Dominican Republic), Claudia McMurray (US), as Vice-Presidents; and Gabriel Luluaki (Papua New Guinea) as Rapporteur.

ASSESSMENT PANEL REPORTS: TEAP 2002 Synthesis Report: Steven Anderson, TEAP Co-Chair, presented the TEAP synthesis report that summarizes the policy-relevant findings of the separate reports of its Technical Options Committees (TOCs). He said the Montreal Protocol is effective in assisting the recovery of the ozone layer, according to observations, it will remain vulnerable. Anderson noted that ODS phase-out can be achieved by 2005 in non-Article 5 Parties, but that would be costly and could increase energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Recalling the availability of suitable alternatives for methyl bromide, he said the phase-out has been prolonged by the abundant supply of methyl bromide. He advised the developed countries to improve incentives for the commercialization of methyl bromide alternatives, and said that all Parties should plan for a full phase-out in three to six years.

Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP): Ayit-L Ajavon, TEAP, predicted that the ozone hole is expected to disappear in 50 years, as the amount of ODS declines in the atmosphere. He noted that the key issue to be researched is how climate change will influence the recovery of the ozone layer.

Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP): Jan van der Leun, EEAP Co-Chair, said that Co-Chair Manfred Tevini (Germany) resigned his post and that Janet Bornman (Denmark) is the new EEAP Co-Chair. He noted that new studies from the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) confirm that ozone depletion affects living organisms and that ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation increases the occurrence of skin cancer and cataracts.

Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP): TEAP Co-Chair Jos Pons Pons (Venezuela) presented the TEAP 2003 Report, and noted that the best approach to phasing out CFCs from MDIs is to enhance cooperation between governments and industries in order to define a timetable for removing particular groups of CFCs from the market.

Miguel Quintero, TEAP, noted that the foam market continues to grow as demand for high-performance insulation increases.

Gary Taylor, TEAP, called for more effort by the aviation sector and other industries to develop partnerships for establishing appropriate facilities to store halons.

Marban Mendoza, TEAP, pointed out that there are available alternatives for methyl bromide and that numerous Article 5 Parties have acquired expertise through demonstration projects to show that many barriers to methyl bromide alternatives can be lifted in a few years.

Masaaki Yamabe, TEAP, reported that the Solvents TOC has overcome the technology challenges for phasing out ODS solvents, coatings and adhesives, and therefore TEAP is retiring this TOC; the remaining solvents issues will be dealt with by the new Chemical Uses and Processes TOC.

Lambert Kuijpers, TEAP, said that the TEAP/Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report relating to safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate change, requested by MOP-14, is due for 2005.

IMPLEMENTING AGENCY REPORTS: UNDP said that it has been carrying out over 1,000 activities towards promoting the success of the Montreal Protocol, and is currently working on 20 national plans with governments, aiming at its implementation. She said that UNDP is ready to assist Article 5 Parties to fulfill their specific obligations.

UNEP introduced its Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), designed to provide evolving services to meet the emerging needs of developing country Parties. In the assistance programs, he highlighted promotion of partnerships, increasing public awareness and development of national strategies.

UNIDO said that it has carried out over 600 ODS projects in 68 countries with a focus on providing Article 5 Parties with comprehensive technical and institutional support, as well as on monitoring ODS movements.

The World Bank said that it disbursed US$ 52 million for projects on reduction and phase-out of some ODS. He confirmed that the Bank is committed to exploring where assistance is needed and is cooperating closely with client countries.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) said that it has already approved projects worth US$160 million to assist Parties efforts in fulfilling the Protocols obligations, with most of them dedicated to Article 5 countries.

MULTILATERAL FUND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PRESENTATION: Tadanori Inomata, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, reported that for the 2003-2005 triennium, the Multilateral Fund has been replenished with a total amount of US$ 573 million. He highlighted the Committees focus on business planning in order to facilitate provision of necessary resources where funds are most needed, especially for Article 5 Parties. He also pointed out the need to improve the recruitment process of the Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund.

DELEGATION STATEMENTS: CHINA suggested promoting capacity building in Article 5 Parties to control illegal trade of ODS. INDIA highlighted the need to enforce the decisions and take precautionary measures to prevent illegal trade, and IRAN stressed cooperation among enforcement agencies. NIGERIA noted that if Article 5 Parties are required to destroy ODS, the Multilateral Fund should assist them in doing so. INDONESIA said the ODS phase-out schedule, as agreed in the Montreal Protocol, must be implemented by Parties. JAPAN said it believes that developed countries should serve as an example and fulfill their obligations under the Montreal Protocol. To fulfill such responsibilities, he said that it is essential to give assistance to developing countries on scientific expertise and technology innovations. CHILE said it is phasing out ODS, including methyl bromide and CFC, and summarized his countries activities in fields, which have been supported by the Multilateral Fund. The PHILIPPINES noted the importance of international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and said that Parties should address the social implications of measures to reduce ODS. She said that the phase-out of methyl bromide should be gradual, to prevent aggravating poverty in a variety of developing countries. UGANDA stated that critical-use exemptions should be extended to developing countries, and called for continuous financial assistance and technology transfer to comply with ozone treaties. RWANDA said that its government is committed to cooperation with other countries in implementing the Protocol. BANGLADESH emphasized the interrelationship between ozone issues and climate change. SOUTH AFRICA confirmed its ratification of both Montreal and Beijing amendments. On behalf of the PACIFIC ISLANDS STATES, Kiribati said that regional strategy is the key for small countries to implement the Protocol, while LAO PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC highlighted a national action plan for ODS.

PREPARATORY SEGMENT RESUMED

FURTHER SPECIFIC INTERIM REDUCTIONS OF METHYL BROMIDE: In the absence of a draft decision on critical-use exemptions (CUEs) for methyl bromide, delegates decided to defer consideration of the draft decision on adjustments relating to the controlled substances in Annex E (UNEP/OzL.Pro.15/ CRP.21).

EXEMPTIONS OF ODS FROM CONTROL MEASURES: Conditions for Granting CUEs for Methyl Bromide: The Plenary requested the contact group on the draft decision to permit levels of production or consumption necessary to satisfy critical uses for non-Article 5 Parties (UNEP/OzL.Pro.15/CRP.20) to resume its deliberation on Friday, November 14.

FINANCIAL REPORT ON THE TRUST FUNDS FOR THE VIENNA CONVENTION AND THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL AND BUDGET FOR THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: Delegates considered a draft decision on financial reports and budgets (UNEP/OzL.Pro.15/CRP.22 and UNEP/ OzL.Pro.15/CRP.22/Rev.1). BRAZIL noted that the UN General Assembly will adopt a resolution on the contributions scale. JAPAN pointed out that it is common practice for UN bodies to follow the current scale rather than waiting for a General Assemblys resolution. After consultation, the draft decision was approved with Brazils reservation.

OTHER MATTERS: Terms of Reference for Assessment Panels: Delegates considered a draft decision on terms of reference for the Scientific Panel, the Environmental Effects Panel and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panels (UNEP/ OzL.Pro.15/CRP.23), and adopted it with minor amendments.

IN THE BREEZEWAYS

Many Parties were wondering why progress was so hard to achieve on critical-use nominations for methyl bromide. The contact group has been sitting almost non-stop from the first day of MOP-15, and well into the night yesterday. According to a participant, the large US contingent does not seem to have much room for maneuver, which would permit resolving an issue that is clearly emerging as "Problem Number One" of the meeting. A weary delegate was heard invoking the specter of Kyoto; will the US pull out of the Montreal Protocol altogether, if its nominations were not accepted?

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The high-level segment will convene at 10 am to hear country statements, and the preparatory segment will meet at noon to address outstanding agenda items, both in Conference Room 2.

CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on methyl bromide will convene at noon to continue discussing conditions for granting CUEs and critical-use nominations for methyl bromide in Conference Room 3.      

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