Bracing themselves for the final stretch, delegates converged for the last day of the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) to develop an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, at UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters, in Paris, France.
In the morning, delegates managed to conclude their work in the two contact groups, addressing objectives and substantive obligations, as well as means of implementation and other measures towards a new instrument on plastic pollution. The contact group Co-Facilitators Gwendalyn Kingtaro Sisior (Palau) and Axel Borchmann (Germany), and Katherine Lynch (Australia) and Oliver Boachie (Ghana), submitted reports from each of the groups to plenary. Delegates took note of the reports, which are set to be annexed to the meeting report.
Plenary convened in the afternoon, to hear the reports from the contact groups. The reports outline areas of tentative convergence on elements to be included in a future agreement, as well as elements where additional discussions are required. They also identify gaps highlighted by delegations in their discussions which may need to be addressed in the future.
Delegates also touched on the potential for intersessional work, raising questions about the modality and timelines for such activities. Delegates then met in informal consultations to discuss the way forward towards INC-3.
Plenary re-convened at 7:30 pm, with delegates mandating the INC Secretariat to prepare a zero-draft of the treaty in advance of INC-3, as well as welcoming the Government of Kenya’s offer to host INC-3 in November 2024. The Committee also welcomed offers to host INC-4 and INC-5 by Canada and the Republic of Korea, respectively.
In closing statements, Jyoti Mathur-Fillip, Executive Secretary of the INC Secretariat, noted growing progress since INC-1 and shared that over 1656 participants attended the meeting.
Chair Meza-Cuadra ended the meeting by quoting French author Victor Hugo: “It is sad to think that nature speaks and that humanmind doesn't listen.” He gavelled the meeting to a close at 9:25 pm.