DIALOGUE ON PLASTICS POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE PLASTICS TRADE
China, a coordinator of the Dialogue, said the meeting marked more than three years of collaboration among delegations and with stakeholders on the topic of plastics pollution. It noted the latest draft MC13 statement takes into account members' comments that were received on the first draft of the statement. These include suggestions for the draft MC13 statement to reference more broadly the compilation document of trade-related practices. Changes were also made to accommodate members' suggestions to more clearly recognize the ongoing process at the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastics pollution.
Ecuador, a coordinator, emphasized the importance of the Dialogue's work and joint efforts reflected in the contributions to the draft statement received from more than 50 members and suggestions by stakeholders. Ecuador noted that coordinators' doors remained open for further consultations.
Morocco, also a coordinator, said furthermore that the factual compilation document of trade-related practices captures the objective discussions the Dialogue has held on members' and stakeholders' experiences, studies, and technical and scientific information. Australia, another coordinator, emphasized that the compilation document is open, illustrative, non-exhaustive and evolving, and is not intended to prejudice the work of the ongoing INC process.
Several co-sponsors of the Dialogue welcomed the progress made in the latest draft statement, including one which described it as a well-advanced version. Several raised further suggestions including on references in the statement to the compilation document and emphasizing the importance of not pre-empting the ongoing INC process. Representatives from international organizations and civil society welcomed the advances in the work of the Dialogue and provided insights for members' further consideration in deliberating on the draft statement.
The WTO Secretariat also updated members on key insights from two reports: results from the Aid for Trade survey on assistance for trade-related policies and actions to address plastics pollution and a mapping of trade-related plastics measures. The INC Secretariat briefed delegations on the outcomes of the third INC meeting that took place last week in Nairobi, Kenya.
In closing the meeting, coordinators welcomed the strong engagement by delegations and stakeholders. They invited further written comments and suggestions and indicated they would soon provide more details on the next steps as the Dialogue progresses towards “concrete, pragmatic and effective outcomes” by MC13 called for by the group's trade ministers at the last WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2022.
Currently, 76 WTO members are participating in the Plastics Pollution Dialogue. Additional information about the Dialogue can be found on its dedicated webpage here.