09 Apr 2024
14:00–15:30

Venue: WTO | Room B and Online | Webex

Organization: World Trade Organization, Geneva Environment Network

This event, co-organized with the World Trade Organization (WTO), within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, discussed the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade Ministerial Statement released earlier this year at the WTO Ministerial Conference and how harnessing trade can contribute to end plastic pollution.

About this Session

A group of WTO members launched in November 2020 an initiative to explore how the WTO could contribute to efforts to reduce plastics pollution and promote the transition to more environmentally sustainable trade in plastics. The Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (DPP) is open to all WTO members and seeks to complement discussions in the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) and other fora.

In February 2024, for the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) a Ministerial Statement (WT/MIN(24)/14) was shared containing a series of principles and actions to ensure trade is part of the solution to the growing plastic pollution challenge, including to increase transparency of trade flows of plastics (e.g. of single-use plastics, plastic films and hard-to-recycle plastics), to reduce plastics and plastic products that are harmful to the environment or human health, or unnecessary single-use plastics and plastics packaging, associated with international trade that are not essential for medical or sanitary purposes, and to promote potential non-plastic substitutes, re-use/re-fill systems and technologies needed for the safe and sustainable management of plastic wastes. Related to each agreed action, a factual compilation document (INF/TE/IDP/RD/146/Rev.1) is attached to the Statement, consisting of trade-related practices already being adopted to tackle plastics pollution.

As of February 2024, 78 WTO members co-sponsor the dialogue, representing over 85 per cent of global trade.

This event, organized within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, presented the MC13 outcomes related to the Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (DPP) and explored the next steps of the initiative. This session also provided a space for stakeholders to discuss further the role of trade and of the DPP as part of the solution to end plastic pollution, responding to the call to action launched by Ministers at MC13.

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Many initiatives, projects and governance responses and options have been developed to tackle this major environmental problem, but we are still unable to cope with the amount of plastic we generate. In addition, there is a lack of coordination which can better lead to a more effective and efficient response.

Various actors in Geneva are engaged in rethinking the way we manufacture, use, trade and manage plastics. The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues aim at outreaching and creating synergies among these actors, highlighting efforts made by intergovernmental organizations, governments, businesses, the scientific community, civil society and individuals in the hope of informing and creating synergies and coordinated actions. The dialogues highlight what the different stakeholders in Geneva and beyond have achieved at all levels, present the latest research and governance options.

Following the landmark resolution adopted at UNEA-5 to end plastic pollution and building on the outcomes of the first two series, the third series of dialogues will encourage increased engagement of the Geneva community with future negotiations on the matter.

Speakers

H.E. Amb. José VALENCIA

Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the World Trade Organization & Chair, Committee on Trade and Environment

H.E. Amb. Matthew WILSON

Permanent Representative of Barbados to the World Trade Organization

Daniela GARCIA FREIRE

Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the World Trade Organization & Coordinator, Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade

Shani GRIFFITH-JACK

First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Dhinesh THANENTHIRARAJAH

Third Secretary, Australia's Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization

Mahesh SUGATHAN

Senior Policy Advisor, Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS)

Gael GROOBY

Deputy Director, Tariff and Trade Affairs, World Customs Organization

Megan JUNGWIWATTANAPORN

Conservation Support Officer, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Chantal-Line CARPENTIER

Head, Trade, Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development, UN Conference on Trade and Development

Sandra AVEROUS-MONNERY

Economic Officer, World Trade Organization (on secondment from UNEP)

Juliette VOINOV KOHLER

Senior Legal Officer and Chief (officer-in-charge), Governance Branch, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Aik Hoe LIM

Director, Trade and Environment Division, World Trade Organization

Daniel RAMOS

Secretary to the Dialogue on Plastics Pollution, World Trade Organization | Moderator

Highlights

Video

Live on Facebook

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