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Third session sees negotiations on international plastics treaty advance in Nairobi

IANS | November 20, 2023 05:27 PM

NAIROBI: The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, concluded here on Monday, with agreement on a starting point for negotiations at the fourth session. More than 1, 900 delegates participated in the session, representing 161 members, including the European Union and over 318 observer organizations -- UN entities, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

Over the course of negotiations, members discussed the Chair’s zero draft, went through a compilation of text to include all views of members, prepared a validated, co-facilitator merged text, and found a way forward on issues not discussed as yet. “I am encouraged by the forward motion of the negotiations towards a treaty that ends plastic pollution. I thank the Chair, Ambassador Meza-Cuadra, and the members of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for their determination to get to the finish line and put us on course for a world where plastic pollution is a problem of the past, ” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “Continue to be ambitious, innovative, inclusive, and bold. And use these negotiations to hone a sharp and effective instrument that we can use to carve out a better future, free from plastic pollution.”

Officially closing the session, outgoing Chair of the INC, Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Cuadra Velasquez thanked the government of Kenya and the UN in Nairobi for hosting the session, as well as the member states, observers, co-facilitators and support staff of the discussions. “These past 10 days have been a significant step forward towards the achievement of our objective to develop an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution. But it has also recalled us that much remains to be done both in narrowing down our differences and in developing technical work to inform our negotiations, ” he said.

“I am pleased to see that the Nairobi spirit of collaboration, compromise and commitment has been in full force during our session in the city that birthed the INC process. We saw this during our preparatory meeting on November 11, which set the stage for the positive momentum we achieved at this session, and in the constructive and cooperative manner in which you all engaged throughout this week, ” said Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Executive Secretary of the INC Secretariat.

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