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Daily report for 1 May 2013

2013 Meetings of Basel Convention COP11, Rotterdam Convention COP6, Stockholm Convention COP6, and ExCOPs2

The Ordinary and Extraordinary Meetings of the COPs to the BC, RC and SC convened for a fourth day on Wednesday, 1 May 2013. Delegates met throughout the day in plenary to consider issues under Stockholm Convention COP6.

Contact groups on Compliance and Legal Matters, Budget and Synergies, Technical Assistance and Financial Resources, and Listing of Chemicals, and on New POPs met throughout the day.


The plenary session was chaired by SC COP6 President Álvarez. During the morning session, Zambia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, introduced the draft Ministerial Declaration (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.2/CRP.4) submitted to the ExCOPs with Colombia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

MATTERS RELATED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional production and use: Effectiveness Evaluation: Delegates considered the agenda item on the effectiveness evaluation (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/27 and Add.1) and the Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/28 and INF/29). The EU highlighted the need to make use of existing data, and said the evaluation should be completed within six months. NORWAY stressed the importance of national reporting and global monitoring.

KENYA, SWITZERLAND, JAPAN and MOROCCO supported the framework of the effectiveness evaluation. SRI LANKA underscored its importance. GUINEA questioned the effectiveness evaluation framework.

 JAPAN expressed concern about the submission of data at the national level. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA reported it had developed a clearinghouse on POPs data and organized training workshops. INDIA highlighted the importance of capacity building.

VENEZUELA reported difficulty of undertaking the effectiveness evaluation due to a lack of resources.

On the GMP, TUNISIA lauded the plan, and TOGO and MALI welcomed the extension of its environmental matrices. KIRIBATI called for the addition of fish to the list of matrices.  MALI, LEBANON and DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO requested capacity building and technical assistance for monitoring and analysis activities. CHINA called for technical and financial support for monitoring new POPs.

IPEN encouraged measuring the effectiveness of NIP implementation, not only comparing NIP submission rates. On the GMP, she underscored the need to monitor marine gyres containing plastics.

Highlighting the environmental and health burden of POPs on indigenous people, ALASKA COMMUNITY ACTION ON TOXICS called for a transparent compliance mechanism that could be triggered by, inter alia, the public.

The COP "virtually" adopted the draft decision (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/28) on the GMP. On the effectiveness evaluation, parties established a Friends of the Chair group, chaired by Bettina Hitzfeld (Switzerland), to continue negotiations. The EU, INDIA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, IPEN, ZAMBIA, NORWAY, VENEZUELA and MOROCCO confirmed they would participate in the group.

DDT: The Secretariat introduced the relevant documents (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/4, INF/2, INF/3 and INF/10), noting that, as requested by decision SC-5/6, leadership of the DDT Global Alliance was transferred from the SC Secretariat to UNEP Chemicals. Tim Kasten, UNEP Chemicals, reviewed the activities undertaken by the Global Alliance.  

The AFRICAN GROUP introduced a CRP on DDT alternatives, target and road map for catalyzing and expediting progress in the development, deployment and evaluation of alternatives to DDT in malaria vector control (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.7), and supported by SWITZERLAND, called on the SC to fully fund the Global Alliance. NORWAY was sympathetic to the proposed draft decision, but queried the differences between the road map and existing work of the DDT Expert Group.

AFRICA FIGHTING MALARIA underscored that DDT saves lives. INDIA emphasized that alternatives should effectively control diseases, including cholera. VENEZUELA and SWAZILAND recalled their countries’ continued use of DDT in vector control. NAMIBIA and UGANDA expressed concern about the availability of safe, reliable alternatives.

TOGO raised concerns about the smuggling of DDT.

The PHILIPPINES and MOZAMBIQUE emphasized successful uses of alternatives. GUINEA urged parties to move progressively towards lower-risk alternatives.

KENYA and RWANDA shared experiences with non-DDT malaria control through integrated vector management (IVM). SOUTH AFRICA highlighted the need for finance and support for the implementation of the road map and target for DDT alternatives. MOROCCO called for the development of available, affordable and effective alternatives to DDT.

LIBYA said additional technology and expertise are needed to assess DDT residues in the environment. COSTA RICA called for support for disposal of DDT stocks.

The EU encouraged the Global Alliance to link with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

WHO underscored the continued need for DDT for vector control, questioned the 2020 target, and raised concerns that the draft decision and CRP call for activities that duplicate existing work, including by WHO on guidelines on the use of DDT.

IPEN supported the 2020 deadline, and urged increased funding for activities under the Global Alliance, especially for developing non-chemical alternatives to DDT.

Zambia, for AFRICAN GROUP, proposed some substantial amendments to the original text (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.7). Delegates agreed to resume consideration of the issue on Thursday.

PCBs: The Secretariat introduced the document on the PCBs Elimination Network (PEN), including a draft decision requesting, inter alia, the Secretariat to prepare a progress report on PCB elimination (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/9). It reported that the leadership of PEN had been successfully transferred from the Convention Secretariat to UNEP Chemicals.

UNEP Chemicals said that funds need to be raised to support the work of PEN and invited parties to contribute.

Lebanon, on behalf of the ARAB GROUP, and supported by BAHRAIN, supported adoption of the decision but said financial resources are necessary for success in eliminating PCBs.

The EU encouraged parties to provide resources to PEN, and, with the PHILIPPINES, supported the draft decision.

COSTA RICA outlined its PCB elimination project. GHANA reviewed its PCB management projects and efforts to share relevant experience with others.  

TOGO and NIGER highlighted challenges associated with disposing of PCB-contaminated products, and INDONESIA noted its need for additional financial support for PCB projects.

SC COP6 then “virtually” adopted the draft decision on PCBs as contained in UNEP/POPS/COP.6/9.

Evaluation of procedure under paragraph 2 (b) of Article 3: The Joint Secretariat introduced the relevant document (UNEP/POPs/COP.6/8).

Relaying experience with certification submission, JAPAN proposed the Secretariat make certificates received after COP6 available on its website. With this amendment, the SC “virtually” adopted draft decision as contained in UNEP/POPs/COP.6/8.

Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from unintentional production: Discussion on this item was taken in two parts: on review and updating of the Standardized Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Dioxin and Furan Releases; and on issues relevant to guidelines on Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP). The Joint Secretariat introduced the documents on the Toolkit revision (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/13 and INF/11).

The PHILIPPINES and the EU lauded the Toolkit.

KENYA said open burning as a key source of unintentionally-produced POPs in Africa must be confirmed. GUINEA stressed that although incineration coefficients assume controlled temperatures, this is not always the case for combustion in the African region.

KENYA proposed amendments to the draft decisions on encouraging use of the revised Toolkit, and on the development of training materials.

With those amendments, the SC “virtually” adopted draft decision as contained in UNEP/POPS/COP.6/13.

On guidelines on BAT and provisional guidance on BEP, CANADA proposed changes including omitting the paragraph on the assessment of technologies, and said the SC should not develop guidance for work occurring under the BC.

IPEN disagreed, noting “significant differences” between the conventions, including the SC’s POPs expertise. 

Implementation Plans: President Álvarez invited participants to review UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.3), on implementation plans under Article 7 of the SC, and SC (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.8), on BAT/BEP guidance. Mexico, on behalf of GRULAC, asked that discussion of CRP.3 be postponed to give parties time to review the draft decision. President Álvarez said consideration of both CRPs would be deferred to Thursday morning.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES: During the afternoon, President Álvarez opened floor the for consideration of the three draft decisions on: third review of the financial mechanism (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.4); report on the effectiveness of the implementation of the MOU between the SC COP and GEF Council (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.5), and needs assessment (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/CRP.6). The three decisions were “virtually” adopted without amendment.

OTHER MATTERS: Official Communications: The Joint Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/30), noting that, taking into account efforts to enhance cooperation, the Joint Secretariat had developed a “harmonized form” for parties to designate contact points and that the RC and BC COPs will also consider this item.

The SC COP “virtually” adopted the draft decision in document (COP.6/30) without amendment.

MOU between the SC and UNEP: The Joint Secretariat introduced the draft MOU (UNEP/POPS/COP.6/32), noting the RC and BC COPs will also consider the matter.

President Álvarez noted that a decision would be premature because the Budget and Synergies Contact Group is discussing this issue.


BUDGET AND SYNERGIES: The group, co-chaired by Gregor Filyk (Canada) and Karel Blaha (Czech Republic), met throughout the day, discussing the budget line-by-line in the morning and the draft omnibus synergies decision in the afternoon. On synergies, the group discussed the preamble to the decision, and then discussed an initial list of possible recommendations on the review of synergies arrangements in Annex 1 to the draft decision. The group discussed reference to the Rio+20 outcomes in the preamble at length. Several developing countries suggested recommendations on financial and technical assistance to support synergies activities, while several developed countries said the financial and technical assistance discussion was a subject for another contact group.

LISTING OF CHEMICALS, AND ON NEW POPS: The group, co-chaired by Bjorn Hansen (EU) and Azhari Abdelbagi (Sudan), met on Tuesday morning and discussed four issues: evaluation of progress parties have made toward eliminating BDEs contained in articles and review of continued need for specific exemptions for those chemicals; evaluation of continued need for exemptions for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF; the work programme on BDEs and PFOS, its salts and PFOSF; and the work programme on endosulfan.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES: The group, co-chaired by Mohammed Khashashneh (Jordan) and Reginald Hernaus (the Netherlands), convened throughout the day, focusing their work on two draft decisions on technical assistance. In light of ongoing related disagreements on both technical assistance and regional centres, a small drafting group broke off to seek compromise text. The drafting group proposed its outcomes to the larger group, but additional divides remained, including over language on technology transfers and financing for regional centres. After further negotiations, delegates agreed to both texts.


As SC COP6 kept up its intense pace of work on Wednesday, the general practice of “two contact groups at a time” went out the window as four contact groups convened simultaneously with plenary during the morning. Several participants from smaller delegations lamented the impossibility of participating in everything. Others recalled that the SC COP has only three days to complete the work it usually does in five. They said this scheduling was unfortunate but inevitable in a “SuperCOP.” One quipped that delegates were expected to be “SuperHuman,” keeping track of multiple issues and moving at the speed of light in attempt to be in several rooms at once. This super pace shortened the time available to review newly-released draft decisions and ultimately led plenary to conclude early, with the COP deferring several issues to contact groups, drafting groups, or Thursday’s plenary. Delegates participating in the Technical Assistance and Financial Resources Contact Group were relieved to agree two draft decisions and cancel their evening session, in favour of attending a reception and side events to fortify themselves for the final day of SC negotiations on Thursday.

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