On Sunday, delegates convened for the final day of the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.
They met in plenary and contact group sessions during the day to address the way forward on the revised Zero Draft text of the ILBI. During the morning plenary, delegates heard extensive summaries from the Co-Facilitators of the contact groups, reflecting the week’s work on the: technical and regulatory elements of the Zero Draft (Contact Group 1): modalities and means of implementation (Contact Group 2); institutional arrangements, and general and final provisions (Contact Group 3).
Contact Group 2, co-facilitated by Katherine Lynch (Australia) and Oliver Boachie (Ghana), then met to complete their work on ensuring that all submissions had been incorporated into the revised Zero Draft. Contact Group 3, co-facilitated by Marine Collignon (France) and Danny Rahdiansyah (Indonesia), reconvened to discuss intersessional work and a related draft decision, as well as the mandate for the preparation of the revised Zero Draft, ahead of INC-4.
With plenary reconvening briefly in the evening, delegates elected, by acclamation, Luis Vayas Valdivieso, Ecuador, as INC Chair for the remainder of the INC. They also elected, by acclamation, Estonia and Peru as Vice-Chairs of the Committee, representing Eastern European States and the Group of Latin America and The Caribbean (GRULAC), respectively.
Delegates also heard from Canada and the Republic of Korea, as host countries for the next meetings of the INC in 2024, welcoming their offers to host. INC-4 is scheduled to convene in Ottawa, Canada for seven days in the period 21-30 April 2024. Ecuador, Senegal, Peru, and Rwanda expressed interest in hosting a Diplomatic Conference on plastic pollution in 2025, with Rwanda and Peru indicating their intention to co-host the event.
In the evening, Contact Group 2 Co-Facilitator Boachie reported that the group had finalized a validation of the ten sections of the compiled text towards the revised Zero Draft, including a full compilation, possible mergers, and streamlining of members’ submissions, thereby completing their work. Contact Group 3 Co-Facilitator Rahdiansyah reported that the group had agreed on a mandate for the preparation of a revised Zero Draft. He noted a request to the Secretariat to, by 31 December 2023, compile, into a single “revised zero-draft text,” the merged texts put forward by Contact Groups 1 and 2 and the outcome document of Contact Group 3, following the outline of the zero-draft text.
In closing plenary, Co-Facilitator Rahdiansyah conveyed that the group was unable to reach consensus on intersessional work. In her closing remarks, Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, stressed that there were still areas that would need to be further explored, and applauded delegations for their work at INC-3. Noting that approximately 1500 participants attended INC-3, Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Executive Secretary, INC Secretariat, highlighted progress made during the session, thanking the Co-Facilitators for the trust they built during the session.
Outgoing INC Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru, lauded delegations for their constructive engagement on the Zero Draft, emphasizing the need to keep working to narrow differences between countries. He thanked delegations for putting their trust in Peru by electing him as INC Chair, and reaffirmed his commitment to continue contributing to the INC process. Quoting Nelson Mandela, he underlined that "sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that generation". He closed the session at 11:01 pm.