The ICLRC took part in the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) on plastic and Multi-stakeholder Forum

On November 26 — December 2, 2022, the ICLRC participated as an observer in the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, and also in the Multi-stakeholder Forum confined to the INC-1 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The Forum brought together representatives of civil society, the commercial sector, governments, and academia in plenary discussions and working groups. The ICLRC’s commentaries were included in the Forum’s overall set of proposals. The Forum’s results were announced during the
INC-1 plenary session on November 29.

The first session of the INC
established a framework for the development of the international document. Most of the states have confirmed their intention to create such an instrument to protect human health and the environment from plastic pollution. Besides, many delegates underline the need to adopt effective monitoring and reporting mechanisms, and to provide financial support to developing countries. Summarizing the discussions, INC Chair Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru) said: “It is clear that we have started to see areas of convergence in the development of the future instrument.”

The Committee requested the secretariat to prepare for consideration by the Committee at its second session a document with potential options for elements towards an international legally binding instrument, based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastics, including identifying the objective, substantive provisions including core obligations, control measures, and voluntary approaches, implementation measures, and means of implementation. This document could include both legally binding and voluntary measures. The document to be prepared by the secretariat is intended to facilitate the Committee’s work without in any way prejudging what the Committee might decide regarding the structure and provisions of the instrument.

The next session of INC-2 will be held in Paris, France, on May 22-26, 2023. It is expected that countries will rely on the Punta del Este session and begin negotiations on options for elements of an international legally binding instrument. According to paragraph 1 of the UNEA resolution 5/14, negotiations should be completed by the end of 2024.

Over 2,500 in-person and virtual delegates from 147 countries took part in the INC-1, and 900 offline and online participants joined the Forum.