With the finish line in sight, another busy day was on the cards for delegates at the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on a science-policy panel (OEWG-2 SPP) to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. The penultimate day of work was dominated once more by contact group discussions, with delegates striving to ensure that all their ideas are reflected in the text for further deliberations in the next stages of the SPP’s development.
In the morning plenary session, delegates listened to reports from contact groups’ Wednesday sessions, highlighting some progress but also revealing that much work remains for the OEWG to be able to fulfil its mandate and prepare a robust set of proposals for the SPP’s establishment. Some expressed concerns that their suggestions had not been properly reflected in the working documents.
Delegates further discussed options for the organization of future work and adopted the provisional agenda for OEWG-3.
Contact Group 1 focused on issues related to conflict of interest (CoI), operating principles, scope and function, capacity building, and intersessional work. On CoI, delegates discussed definitional issues, timeframes, the distinction between CoI and bias, and other CoI modalities. On operating principles, discussions focused on: taking a human rights approach; being responsive to developing countries’ needs; the precautionary approach; equity; and reference to prevention. In evening sessions, the contact group addressed capacity building and the future panel’s scope and functions.
Contact Group 2 addressed strategic partnerships, provisions on membership, financial arrangements for the SPP, and intersessional work. Contact Group 3 initiated a general exchange of views on procedures for the preparation and clearance of panel deliverables.
Contact Group 4 met in the evening, gathering input from all contact groups on intersessional work. Many delegates noted that, given the current state of progress, intersessional work will be imperative to provide a good basis for further deliberations at OEWG-3, scheduled for June 2024.