28 Nov 2023
Lieu: Online | Webex
Organisation: Groupe de travail spécial à composition non limitée chargé d’examiner la création d’un groupe d’experts sur l’interface science-politiques au service de la gestion rationnelle des produits chimiques et des déchets et de la prévention de la pollution, Geneva Environment Network
This briefing on the second session of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on the Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution (OEWG 2) taking place in Nairobi, from 11 to 15 December 2023, and preceding informal consultations on 9 and 10 December was held within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, and concluded a series of events organized in preparations for OEWG 2.
About this Event
At the 5th session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5), countries agreed to establish an independent, intergovernmental science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. An ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) process has been initiated to prepare proposals for the panel. As set out in the UNEA 5 resolution, the panel will support countries to take action on chemicals, waste, and pollution prevention, including implementing various international instruments such as multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), by providing policy-relevant scientific advice. The Panel will also further support relevant MEAs, other international instruments and intergovernmental bodies, and other relevant stakeholders in their work.
The OEWG concluded its first session on 30 January to 3 February 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, with a particular focus on the scope and functions of the panel and intersessional work, and agreed to hold its second session in December 2023.
This briefing will provide updates on the preparations for the second session of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on a Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution (OEWG 2) taking place in Nairobi, from 11 to 15 December 2023, and preceding informal consultations on 9 and 10 December. It consisted of two major parts: 1) a briefing from the Chair of the OEWG process on the approach to work towards proposals for the panel using a ‘skeleton outline’ at OEWG 2 and the overall expected outcomes; and 2) a general briefing on the overall preparations for OEWG 2 by the secretariat. This briefing, held within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, concluded the series of the “Road to OEWG 2” events organized in preparation for OEWG 2.
Road to OEWG 2 Series
In preparation for the second session, the Road to OEWG 2 | Science-Policy Panel to Contribute Further to the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution webinar and event series, co-organized by the OEWG Secretariat and Geneva Environment Network aims to build bridges between and among stakeholders, and promote collaboration and knowledge sharing in preparation for OEWG 2 in December 2023.
Previous webinars and events in the series have focused on the process for establishing a science-policy panel, its scope and possible structure (24 January 2023); lessons learned the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), International Resource Panel (IRP), Montreal Protocol, and World Health Organization (WHO) (5 October 2022); the scope of the panel (25 July 2022), operating principles of existing science-policy interfaces mentioned above, (26 April 2023); building bridges between and among stakeholders and raising awareness about the OEWG process (2 May 2023 as a side event to the 2023 BRS COPs); and how members of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) can contribute their scientific expertise throughout the process (1 May 2023, during the European Special Session of SETAC Annual Meeting).
Chair, OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution | Deputy Permanent Representative to UNEP, Kingdom of the Netherlands
Head, Global Affairs Section, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Principal Officer, Secretariat of the OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution, UNEP
Chief, Chemicals and Health Branch, UNEP
Programme Officer, Secretariat of the OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution, UNEP
Secretariat of the OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution, UNEP
Secretariat of the OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution, UNEP
Conference Services, Governance Affairs Office, UNEP
To be continued.
Part I: Briefing from the Chair on the OEWG process
Presentation on the proposed way of working at OEWG 2 and expected outcomes, including the role of the skeleton outline for preparing proposals for the science-policy panel — Gudi ALKEMADE | Chair, OEWG on a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution | Deputy Permanent Representative to UNEP, Kingdom of the Netherlands
This webinar which is the last webinar of the series to prepare the road to the open-ended working group’s second session. Let me express appreciation for the role that this series of webinars has played in raising awareness and for member states and stakeholders to the work of this important process. The first part of this webinar to presents the approach to prepare our proposals for the science-policy panel which will shape both our upcoming meeting as well as the third session of the OEWG.
To provide further background on the skeleton outline for proposals for establishing the science-policy panel, as well as to zoom in on the recommendations coming out of the process to provide recommendations to the intergovernmental meeting that is mandated to the Executive Director to establish the panel.
To provide further background on the skeleton outline as well as to provide some thoughts of how we, in our consultations, in the bureau thought this could help our negotiations on track with the ambitious timeline that is set out in UNEA resolution 5/8 to deliver our proposals by the end of 2024. We will also have an opportunity to exchange on this at the informal consultations scheduled for Saturday, 9 December.
Proposed skeleton outline. This is presented in the pre-session documents (UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.2/2). This was based on the exchange that we had in the first session of the open-ended working group on the intersectional work, as well as in the discussions that we had in the bureau with the Secretariat in making the preparations for identifying all the documents that should inform the member states in developing the proposals, in line with the mandates set out in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the resolution.
Following further discussion in the bureau, we saw the skeleton outline could serve two general objectives. First, to ensure that all necessary proposals are developed and finalized for the intergovernmental meeting to establish the science-policy panel. Second, to make headway in providing guidance on the rules, working processes, and other procedures that the panel will need to start its work and deliver on its promise as quickly as possible. These two separate goals are generally reflected in the structure of the skeleton outline.
Parts A, B, and C in the skeleton outline constitute what I would call the basis for the foundational document outlining the key features of the panel.
- A. Scope and functions of the Panel – Capturing Annex II of UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.1/7
- B. Operating principles of the Panel
- C. Institutional arrangements of the Panel
- Annex 1. Rules of procedure
- Annex 2. Financial rules and procedures
- Annex 3. Relationships with relevant key stakeholders
- Annex 4. Process for determining and executing the work programme, including the prioritization criteria
- Annex 5. Procedures for the review and adoption of reports
- Annex 6. Arrangements for identifying and engaging with experts
- Annex 7. Conflict of interest policy
These will include the text proposals necessary to establish the panel, including the scope and functions of the panel — which would capture the discussions that we already had in the resumed first session — the operating principles of the panel, and the institutional arrangements including on the decision-making bodies and other bodies such as administrative, scientific, and other possible bodies of the panel. It would set out the arrangements for the secretariat as well as financial arrangements.
The second series of items would contain the rules, processes, policies or other documents that the open-ended working group could prepare or develop guidance on how they could be prepared, so that the panel can adopt them as soon as possible after its establishment so that it can start its work as soon as possible. The goal is to ensure that the panel is equipped with the relevant guidance to start delivering on the functions that was meant to be developed by the OEWG. There may be other elements that the OEWG may wish to pick up and provide guidance on based on the information and working documents.
We had discussed in the bureau meeting that it might be useful for the OEWG to develop an information document with text emanated from the working and information documents to be used possibly by the contact group as basis for their discussions.
Outcome of the OEWG process. After its third session, it is expected that the OEWG would provide a recommendation to the Intergovernmental Meeting for a draft decision to be adopted at that meeting on the establishment of a science policy panel. That draft decision recommended for adoption could contain different elements:
- Preambular paragraphs, including reference to the outcome document of the OEWG
- Decision to establish an SPP [name] as set out in the first part of the skeleton outline agreed by the OEWG
- Forward and recommend for consideration of the panel [at its first meeting] the documents set out in the annexes of the skeleton outline agreed by the OEWG.
Live on Webex.
Previous Road to OEWG 2/ SPP-CWP Series Events
Arranged in reverse chronological order.
Procedures for Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Lessons Learned from Existing Science-Policy Interfaces | Road to OEWG 2 Series
18 October 2023 | 14:00 – 15:30 CEST
All Information Documents and Working Documents are available on the OEWG-2 Website under the “Pre-Session Documents” tab.
- Logistics note for participants
- Skeleton outline for proposals for the establishment of a science-policy panel (UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.2/2)
- Background document on procedures for addressing potential conflicts of interest (UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.1/INF/8)
- Draft scenario note for the second session of the ad hoc open ended working group on a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution
- Written submissions on needs and questions the panel may handle
- Road to OEWG 2 | Science-Policy Panel to Contribute Further to the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution / SPP-CWP Series
- Regional Meetings and Briefings
Attribution for photo © S Martin / Flickr