Last updated: 23 Feb 2024

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-4), is scheduled to take place from 23 to 29 April 2024 at the Shaw Center in Ottawa, Canada. The session will be preceded by regional consultations on 21 April 2024.

About the International Negotiating Committee to Develop a Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution Process

For several years, plastic pollution has been a major issue raised at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) and other global fora.

In March 2022, a historical resolution was adopted at the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly – End plastic pollution: towards an international legally binding instrument (UNEA 5/14), recognizing that “the high and rapidly increasing levels of plastic pollution represent a serious environmental problem at a global scale, negatively impacting the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development”. It mandated the UN Environment Programme Executive Director to convene an International Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop and adopt a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastics. This landmark decision thus launched the process towards a global plastics treaty, which should be developed by the end of 2024.

Pre INC-4 Sessions

The first four meetings for the development of the international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution took place in 2022 and 2023.

  • In May 2022, the ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) met in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting resulted in a proposed draft rules of procedure for the work of the INC.
  • Member States then met in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 28 November to 2 December 2022 for the first meeting of the INC to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.
  • The second meeting of the INC took place in Paris, France from 29 May to 2 June 2023, resulting in the mandate to the Chair to prepare a zero draft of the treaty ahead of INC-3.
  • The third session of the INC was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 13 to 19 November and saw  H.E. Amb. Luis Vayas Valdivieso, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom elected as the next Chair of the INC process and delegates mandating the Secretariat to compile a “revised zero-draft text” (UNEP/PP/INC.4/3) as the basis of talks at INC-4.

Plastic Pollution INC-3

Learn more about preparations, and outcomes and find resources on the role of Geneva.

Plastic Pollution INC-2

Learn more about preparations, and outcomes and find resources on the role of Geneva.

Plastic Pollution INC-1

Learn more about preparations, and outcomes and find resources on the role of Geneva.

Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, will take place from 23 to 29 April 2024 at the Shaw Center in Ottawa, Canada. The session will be preceded by regional consultations on 21 April 2024.

At the 3rd session (INC-3), delegates mandated the Secretariat to compile a “revised zero-draft text”. On 28 December 2023, the INC Secretariat released the advance copy of the Revised draft text of the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (UNEP/PP/INC.4/3). The final document will be made available in all six UN languages on the INC-4 website six weeks before the meeting. 

INC-4 Registration

  • Registration to participate in INC-4 is currently open and will close on 26 February 2024.  All participants are invited to register well in advance to allow sufficient time for visa processing (at least 12 weeks before their expected departure). Please note that each participant needs to be registered individually. → Consult the Visa Application Guide
  • Registration credentials can be different for the various categories of participants.  → Check out registration modalities on the dedicated webpage.

INC-4 Provisional Agenda

According to the Draft decision on the draft provisional agenda of the fourth session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (UNEP/PP/INC.3/L.2) adopted during the third session of the plastic pollution INC, the provisional agenda for the fourth session of the INC on plastic pollution contains the following items:

  1. Opening of the session.
  2. Election of officers.
  3. Organizational matters:
    (a) Adoption of the rules of procedure;
    (b) Adoption of the agenda;
    (c) Organization of work;
    (d) Dates and venues of subsequent sessions;
    (e) Provisional agenda of the fifth session.
  4.  Preparation of an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.
  5. Other matters.
  6. Adoption of the report of the session.
  7. Closure of the session

Side Events

Thematic side events to INC-4 will be held on  24 April and 25 April 2024 from 13:30 to 14:45 EAT, with two events to be held in parallel on  24 April 2024. The events will be in-person only.The schedule of the events is provided below:

  • 24 April 2024 | Plastic Pollution in the Marine Environment
  • 24 April 2024 | Approaches to Capacity Building, Financing and Financial Mechanisms
  • 25 April 2024 | Enabling Just Transition

Members and observer organizations registered to INC-4 are invited to submit their interest to participate in thematic side events by submitting the online form by 1 March 2024.

INC-4 Preparatory Events

While no intersessional work has been agreed upon at the last Plastic Pollution INC Session in November 2023, efforts to advance the work towards a Plastic Pollution Treaty continue informally.

Regional Consultations

In-person consultations will take place prior INC-4 to support regions in their preparation by giving Member States the possibility to consult each other ahead INC-4.

  • Asia Pacific Group: 5-6 March 2024, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • GRULAC: 20 -22 March 2024, Panama.
  • EEG: 25 March 2024, Vienna, Austria.
  • Africa: 25-27 March 2024, TBD

A full day of regional consultations will take place on 21 April 2024, prior to the opening of the session on 23 April 2024, at the same venue. The secretariat will reserve rooms for the meetings of the five regional groups of United Nations and the SIDS. In addition, there will be an opportunity for regional meetings to be held every morning throughout the week. The regional consultations are to be convened and organized by the groups themselves. The groups are encouraged to inform the secretariat on the planned timed for their meetings in order for this to be reflected on the daily programme.
Allocation of meeting rooms will be announced upon arrival at the venue.

One room for observers will also be made available for their meeting.

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

Through the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, the Geneva Environment Network and its partners support actors in the Geneva community and beyond, that are engaged in the INC process. In the upcoming months ahead INC-4, the co-conveners of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues organized events relevant to the upcoming negotiations:

Other Sessions

Additional Resources & News Ahead INC-4

International Geneva at INC-4

As a global hub for environmental governance, in particular for chemicals and waste issue, Geneva hosts many organizations whose work is highly relevant for the development of a new instrument on plastic pollution. Learn more about the organizations active in Geneva to tackle the plastic crisis through our Plastics and the Environment special section on “Addressing the Plastic Crisis from Geneva”. As we head toward INC-4, we will highlight activities, documents and resources related specifically to this meeting in this page.

Who To Follow on Twitter

#PlasticsTreaty #INC4

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