A third round of negotiations for a UN Treaty on Plastic PollutionReading time : 2 minutes
From November 13 to November 19, 2023, the third round of negotiations for a treaty on plastic pollution was held in Nairobi, at the headquarters of the UN Environment Program (UNEP).
Following the adoption of Resolution 5/14 by the UN Environment Assembly of the UNEP on March 2nd, 2022, the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) was tasked with the elaboration of an legally binding international instrument “to end plastic pollution”.
Two rounds of negotiations, INC-1 in Uruguay (November 28th to December 2nd, 2022) and INC-2 in Paris (May 29th to June 2nd, 2023) took place. After this second round of negotiations, a “zero draft” of a plastic pollution treaty was adopted on September 4, 2023. While it contained some ambitious provisions, it still contained placeholders on crucial issues such as the preamble of the treaty, definitions, principles, and its scope.
2/ What happened?
This third negotiating session offered an opportunity to discuss the aforementioned zero-draft. However, while countries overall supported a strong treaty, no real concrete progress was made, and major issues are still left pending. For example, there are still debates on whether the focus should be on diminishing plastic production, or on recycling and reusing (which are less ambitious in terms of environmental protection).
The Secretariat was mandated to elaborate a “revised zero-draft” by December 31st, 2023. It will serve as the basis of discussions for the fourth round of negociations for INC-4, which will be held in Ottawa, Canada, from April 21st to April 30th, 2024. Moreover, the date and venue of INC-5 was also decided (Busan, Korea, from November 25th to December 1st, 2024).
To learn more about the first draft adopted for the Plastics Treaty, please visit this page: A first draft for the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution
To learn more about the second round of negotiations on a Plastics Treaty (INC-2), please visit this page: Second Round of Negotiations for a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution
To learn more about the first round of negotiations on a Plastics Treaty (INC-1), please visit this page: UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution: Success for a Milestone Negotiation