OECPR-3 Negotiates on Plastics, Pollution, HLPF Contributions
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OECPR-3 finalized eight draft resolutions and a ministerial outcome document for adoption at UNEA-3, after three days of negotiations at the UN Office at Nairobi.

Opening the meeting, UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim highlighted UNEA-3’s focus on pollution as an opportunity to bring together many SDGs into a single, forward-looking agenda.

OECPR-3 reviewed progress in implementing previous UNEA decisions.

1 December 2017: In a three-day meeting before the UN Environment Assembly convened, the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP reviewed progress in implementing previous UNEA decisions, and finalized several draft resolutions and a ministerial outcome document for adoption by UNEA. Opening the meeting, UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim highlighted UNEA-3’s focus on pollution as an opportunity to bring together many SDGs into one, forward-looking agenda.

OECPR decided to extend the delivery of GEO-6 to 2019, to align its preparation with the UNEA schedule.

OECPR-3 convened at the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) in Kenya, from 29 November-1 December 2017. Negotiations took place in five contact groups, four of which discussed the proposed resolutions, while the fifth group, on overall coordination, considered draft decisions on administrative and communication matters. The latter group agreed to extend the delivery of the Global Environment Outlook report (GEO-6) to 2019, so as to ensure its alignment with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which is scheduled to take place the same year.

Contact Group 1 negotiated five draft resolutions on: marine litter and microplastics; pollution mitigation by mainstreaming biodiversity into key sectors; enhancing the work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to promote the development and strengthening of water quality monitoring programmes; clean water for all, leaving no one behind; and accelerating efforts to address water pollution and to protect and restore water-related ecosystems.

Contact Group 2 discussed six draft resolutions on: environment and health; strengthening health and environmental action in Asia and Pacific; eliminating exposure to lead paint; promoting environmentally sound management of used lead; and synchronization of objectives and activities among the governing bodies of the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) for the efficient implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Contact Group 3 discussed two draft resolutions on: pollution prevention and control in areas affected by terrorist operations and armed conflicts; and preventing and reducing air pollution to improve air quality globally. Contact Group 4 discussed two draft resolutions on: investing in innovative environmental solutions for accelerating implementation of the SDGs; and managing soil pollution to achieve sustainable development.

By the close of OECPR-3, delegates had reached agreement on several draft resolutions: contributions of UNEA to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) (UNEP/EA.3/L.7); investing in innovative environmental solutions for accelerating implementation of the SDGs (UNEP/EA.3/L.13); managing soil pollution to achieve sustainable development (UNEP/EA.3/L.14); preventing and reducing air pollution to improve air quality globally; pollution prevention and control in area affected by terrorist operation and armed conflicts (UNEP/EA.3/L.5); and eliminating exposure to lead paint and lead batteries (UNEP/EA.3/L.24).

Informal consultations continued over the weekend on four outstanding resolutions on: environment and health (UNEP/EA.3/L.8); pollution mitigation by mainstreaming biodiversity into key sectors (UNEP/EA.3/L.6); addressing water pollution to protect and restore water-related ecosystems; and marine litter and microplastics (UNEP/EA.3/L.20). Some other resolutions initially proposed were either merged with other texts, or withdrawn.

UNEA-3 was convened in a shorter-than-usual session from 4-6 December 2017, following an agreement at UNEA-2 in 2016 to hold future sessions of UNEA in odd-numbered years, to align with the UN budgeting cycle and avoid lapses in funding.

Other events that took place in conjunction with UNEA-3 were the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, held from 27-28 November, and the Science, Policy and Business Forum, which took place from 2-3 December. A Sustainable Innovation Expo alongside OECPR-3 showcased developments in science, innovation and technology. [ENB Meeting Coverage, 29 November] [ENB Meeting Coverage, 30 November] [ENB Meeting Coverage, 1 December ] [UNEA-2 Summary]


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