The Sixth Meeting of the Negotiating Committee took place in Brasilia, Brazil to advance negotiations towards a regional agreement on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters (Principle 10).
The Seventh Meeting will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 31 July to 4 August 2017.
24 March 2017: The Negotiating Committee on the Principle 10 Agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean held its sixth meeting, addressing several of the articles of the draft compilation text. The process will continue with the Seventh Meeting of the Negotiating Committee in July 2017.
The Sixth Meeting took place in Brasilia, Brazil, the 20-24 March 2017, with the participation of 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries, organized by the Government of Brazil and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It aimed to advance negotiations towards a regional agreement on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters (Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development).
During the five-day meeting, participants addressed: access to information (articles 6 and 7), participation (article 8), access to justice (article 9), capacity-building and cooperation (article 10), and institutional arrangements for the agreement (11 onward). The discussions were based on the fifth version of the text compiled by the Secretariat for the process. The previous meeting took place in November 2016, in Santiago, Chile.
“We are reaching the conclusion of the process,” said an official from Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Officials from the region reflected on the intention to conclude negotiations shortly. José Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “We are reaching the conclusion of a process that has inspired us,” while Patricia Madrigal, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment, said “In Buenos Aires, I am confident that consensus will be reached on the texts.” Madrigal also noted that rights of access are reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and at the heart of environmental democracy. Rubens Born, a representative of the public, said “listening is not enough,” indicating that an agreement on standards for applying Principle 10 would strengthen the conditions for addressing environmental challenges in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The Seventh Meeting of the Negotiating Committee will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 31 July to 4 August 2017. The Committee aims to reach agreement this year. According to ECLAC, the agreement will be a “second-generation legal instrument and the first of its kind on the continent.” [ECLAC Press Release on Opening Session] [ECLAC Press Release on Closing Session] [Fifth Version of Negotiating Text] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Fifth Meeting of Negotiating Committee][SDG Knowledge Hub Policy Brief on Principle 10 Negotiations] [Principle 10 Information]