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Fourth Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS-4)
Bonn, Germany; 20 -25 March 2000

Final briefing:
The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) for an International Legally Binding Instrument for Implementing International Action on Certain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) met from 20-25 March 2000, in Bonn, Germany. Approximately 500 representatives from 121 countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations participated in INC-4, and continued preparation of an international legally binding instrument for implementing international action on certain POPs grouped into three categories: 1) pesticides: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex and toxaphene; 2) industrial chemicals: hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and 3) unintended byproducts: dioxins and furans.

Contentious issues at the center of debate at INC-4 were measures to reduce or eliminate releases, technical assistance, and financial resources and mechanisms. While INC-4 succeeded in drafting articles on technical assistance and financial resources and mechanisms, these text are heavily bracketed and positions between developing and developed countries on these topics remain isolated. Delegates also devoted much time to addressing control measures (Article D) and made some headway on how to handle elimination language, particularly with respect to by-products. INC-4 also addressed and made progress on articles on: national implementation plans; listing of substances; information exchange; public information, awareness and education; and research, development and monitoring. INC-4 was unable to allow adequate time for discussion on preamble, objective and definitions, leaving these articles to INC-5.

Report of the drafting group on Article D(1) and D(2)
The EU stressed the importance of addressing trade between parties as well as trade with non-parties. He outlined the EU proposal, which addresses: import; export before complete prohibition and use among parties; export after complete prohibition; and export to non-parties. He regretted that the EU's proposals on non-parties were not included in the contact group's proposed text on procedural grounds, requested the Secretariat to include the proposals in the compilation of draft articles of the convention, and insisted the issue be placed on the INC-5 agenda.

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POPs-4 Web Archives

Fri 24
Thu 23
Wed 22
Tue 21
Mon 20

Archive of Daily Reports

Sat 25
Fri 24
Thu 23
Wed 22
Tue 21
Mon 20

* To view PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Final Plenary
John Buccini, Chair of the INC (left) and Jim WIllis, Director of UNEP Chemicals (right) moments before the close of INC-4. Willis confirmed that the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries will be held in Stockholm from 21-23 May 2001. Thanking those who had provided financial contributions for the POPs negotiations, he noted that the Secretariat is still US$600,000 short of requirements for the final negotiations and encouraged governments to join the POPs Club.
Chair Buccini proposed that delegates establish an intersessional group on financial resources and mechanisms (Article K). Chair Buccini said the intent of the group would not be to redraft Article K, but rather to prepare a document to help guide delegates to redraft Article K at INC-5. He suggested, and delegates agreed to, the following participation formula: ten G-77/CHINA representatives; two representatives from Eastern and Central Europe; and seven representatives of WEOG
SOUTH AFRICA confirmed that INC-5 will be held in Johannesburg from 4-9 December 2000, and acknowledged the financial assistance provided by Denmark.
In response to NIGERIA's emphasis on material substitution regarding by-product POPs, Buccini noted that a number of paragraphs in the reports needed updating to reflect the most recent discussions.
VENEZUELA supported Colombia's introduction of a proposal for a provision on liability and compensation, noting it could either be a separate article or included under settlement of disputes (Article N.)
Chair Buccini's closing remarks
View of the plenary hall from behind the dias

Lunch-time press conference
Prior to the final Plenary, Chair Buccini and Willis held a press briefing. The following RealAudio clips are extracts of their statements and replies they gave to the representatives of the press:

Chair Buccini gives his assessment of progress made at INC-4. "I think we realized, perhaps more extensively we had in the past, just how complex many of these issues are..."

Willis shares his thoughts on INC-4. "The business of making a convention is a bit like trying to roll an automobile that is out of gasoline up a long hill..."
"Will there be an INC-6?"

"In which area do you think (INC-4) has made the most progress, and in which areas do you see the most problems?"

The ENB POPs-4 team

From left to right: Andrei Henry (Canada), Laura Ivers (US), Leila Mead (US), John Hanks
(South Africa) and Richard Campbell (New Zealand). Photo credit: Gaby Hailu (Canada).

ENB Coverage of POPS-3

UNEP Chemicals POPS-4 web site with official documents and information for participants

ENB's "Introduction to chemical management"

Linkages Chemical Management page
Joint UNEP Chemicals / WHO-GEENET web site and the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety web site
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