Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants – Issue #3

A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

Volume 15 Number 179 – Wednesday, 27 April 2011

POPS COP5 HIGHLIGHTS

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The fifth Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) convened for its second day in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday, 26 April 2011.

In the morning, delegates discussed finance and endosulfan. During the afternoon, delegates considered work plans on new POPs, synergies and exemptions.

The contact group on budget met throughout the day.

MATTERS RELATED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION

MEASURES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE RELEASES FROM WASTES: The Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/POPS/COP.5/9, UNEP/POPS/COP.5/12, UNEP/POPS/COP.5/15, and UNEP/POPS/COP.5/16). JAPAN described his country’s guidelines on the disposal of POPs-containing waste. The EU, with the US and BANGLADESH, supported the invitation of the Basel Convention to assist in the elimination of waste containing POPs, with the EU, supported by IPEN, requesting a definition of “low POP-content.” NORWAY welcomed the cooperation between the Stockholm Convention and the Basel Convention in the elimination of waste, and with CANADA and INDONESIA, but opposed by the US, emphasized that the work of the POPRC should be taken into consideration. NIGERIA and NEPAL called for capacity building for developing countries in the elimination of waste-containing POPs. President Blaha requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft decision on this issue.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES: The Secretariat completed his introduction, highlighting a proposal to consolidate COP guidance to the financial mechanism (UNEP/POPS/COP.5/26), and outlining four options for facilitating the work of the COP (UNEP/POPS/COP.5/27): a subsidiary financial mechanism committee, an ad hoc working group, an open-ended intersessional electronic working group, and maintaining the status quo.

The EU favored postponing discussion on consolidating guidance to the GEF until COP6 to link directly with the GEF replenishment cycle. Morocco, for the ARAB GROUP, appealed to donor countries to allocate resources to help with development and implementation of NIPs. CHINA said the third review of the financial mechanism should focus on the difficulties in the area of the sustainability, predictability and sufficiency of funds. The AFRICAN GROUP underscored the need for financial commitments to allow for NIP implementation and technology transfer.

On the proposed options for facilitating the work of the COP, the EU, NORWAY, and the US favored maintaining the status quo. CHINA supported establishing a subsidiary body.

NIGERIA, MEXICO, and SENEGAL called for resolutions on financial resources at COP6, while SUDAN called for resolutions at COP5. MYANMAR urged equal access to GEF funding. IRAN underscored implications for compliance.

MEXICO called for new financial resources to support NIPs, and requested a study on mobilizing resources.

SWITZERLAND urged the GEF to be responsive to developing country party needs.

The US said ratification of the Convention was its priority. IPEN proposed the reduction of co-financing requirements for least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs). The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), for IPEN, emphasized the need for effective public participation in any COP5 decision.

On needs assessment, the EU called for a periodic review every four years in line with the GEF replenishment process, and said additional studies on financial resources are unnecessary.

The US supported an independent study of financial resources additional to those provided by GEF, and called for more realistic estimates of funding needs.

A contact group on financial resources, to be co-chaired by Mohammed Khashashneh (Jordan) and Johanna Lissinger Peitz (Sweden), was established.

LISTING OF CHEMICALS IN ANNEX A, B OR C TO THE CONVENTION: The Secretariat introduced the documents related to listing chemicals in Annexes A, B, and/or C of the Convention (UNEP/POPS/COP.5/14-17 and UNEP/POPS/COP.5/INF/9-12).

Endosulfan: POPRC Chair Reiner Arndt (Germany) introduced POPRC’s recommendation to list endosulfan in Annex A with specific exemptions, noting the recommendation was taken by consensus by all POPRC members present and voting at POPRC-6.

Many countries commended the POPRC and POPRC Chair Arndt’s work.

SWITZERLAND supported adding endosulfan to Annex A with “restrained” allowance of exemptions, and emphasized that voting is an option for listing. SOUTH KOREA supported listing endosulfan and said decisions could be taken by general agreement.

The EU emphasized POPRC’s rigorous scientific analysis, noted that more than 80 alternatives were assessed, and, with NORWAY and GABON, supported listing in Annex A with no exemptions.

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