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Second Round of Negotiations for a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution

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From May 29 to June 2, 2023, the second round of negotiations for the adoption of a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution was held in Paris.

Second Round of Negotiations for a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution

1/ Context

In February 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the governing body of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), adopted resolution 5/14 to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including the marine environment. The resolution led to the establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) tasked with completing the draft of a legally binding instrument by the end of 2024.

The INC held its first session (INC-1) from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in Uruguay. The committee discussed the potential scope, objectives, and broad options for the structure of the future treaty. At the end of the INC-1, the INC Secretariat, in consultation with the Chair, was tasked with preparing a document outlining potential options for elements that could be included in the future instrument. This document served as a basis for the second round of negotiations (INC-2).


2/ Second round of negociations

INC-2 was held in Paris at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) headquarters from 29 May to 2 June 2023. Over 700 Member State delegates from 169 countries and over 900 observers from NGOs attended this session

The first two days of INC-2 focused on procedural elements. Once these procedural matters had been settled, participants considered the potential scope and objectives of the treaty, as well as substantive provisions such as core obligations or implementation measures, among other elements. 


3/ What are the next steps ? 

At the end of INC-2, it was decided that the INC Chair and Secretariat would prepare a zero draft of the agreement ahead of the third session which will be held in Nairobi at the UNEP headquarters from 13 to 19 November 2023. 

After INC-3, two more sessions will take place: INC-4 in April/May 2024 in Canada and INC-5 in October/November 2024 in the Republic of Korea. The UNEP will also have to report on INC’s progress during the sixth session of UNEA that will be held in February 2024. Finally, in 2025, the UNEP should convene a conference to adopt the instrument and open it for signature.

To find out more about the first round of negociations, please visit this News post: UN Teaty on Plastic Pollution: Success for a Milestone Negociation