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1 UNITED NATIONS Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal UNEP/CHW.13/17 UNEP/FAO/ /RC/COP.8/17 UNEP/POPS/COP.8/17 Distr.: General 7 December 2016 Original: English BC RC SC Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal Thirteenth meeting Geneva, 24 April 5 May 2017 Item 4 (d) (i) of the provisional agenda Matters related to the implementation of the Convention: technical assistance: capacity-building Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade Eighth meeting Geneva, 24 April 5 May 2017 Item 5 (d) of the provisional agenda Matters related to the implementation of the Convention: technical assistance Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Conventionn on Persistentt Organic Pollutants Eighth meeting Geneva, 24 April 5 May 2017 Item 5 (f) of the provisional agenda Matters related to the implementation of the Convention: technical assistance Technical assistance and capacity-building for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions Note by the Secretariat I. Introduction 1. In paragraphs 3 and 4 of their decisions on technical assistance (BC-12/9, RC-7/ /7 and SC-7/16), the conferences of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants invited: UNEP/CHW.13/1. UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/1. UNEP/POPS/COP.8/1. K

2 II. (a) Developing-country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to provide information to the Secretariat on their needs in terms of technical assistance and, in the case of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, on technology transfer, difficulties in implementing the conventions and any other views in that regard; (b) Developed-country Parties and others with the capacity to do so to continue to provide information to the Secretariat on the technical assistance and, in the case of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, on technology that they had available to be transferred to developing-country Parties and Parties with economies in transition. 2. In paragraph 6 of the decisions, the conferences of the Parties requested the Secretariat, subject to the availability of resources, to implement the technical assistance programme (see UNEP/CHW.12/INF/25-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.7/INF/17-UNEP/POPS/COP.7/INF/16) in cooperation with relevant actors. 3. The conferences of the Parties also emphasized the key role of the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, as well as the regional and subregional offices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in delivering technical assistance upon request at the regional level in the implementation of the technical assistance programme and the facilitation of technology transfer to eligible Parties. 4. Lastly, in the same decisions, the conferences of the Parties requested the Secretariat to submit a progress report to the conferences of the Parties at their 2017 meetings on the delivery of technical assistance for capacity-building and, in the case of Basel and Stockholm conventions, on the promotion of technology transfer to Parties, and to prepare a technical assistance programme for the biennium Implementation A. Technical assistance activities carried out in the biennium Based on the technical assistance needs assessed through a variety of sources, as explained in paragraph 9 below, and within available resources, the Secretariat undertook a number of technical assistance activities in , such as the updating of training modules, webinars and other online training activities, the conduct of face-to-face workshops, the dissemination of information on best practices and lessons learned, and activities with a focus on regional delivery and working with partners. 6. Detailed information on the capacity-building and training activities undertaken and planned by the Secretariat in the biennium is set out in document UNEP/CHW.13/INF/34-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/24-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/22. B. Technical assistance needs for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions 7. The Secretariat continuously identifies and addresses needs for technical assistance based on information from a variety of sources, including decisions by the conferences of the Parties; needs assessment questionnaires for each of the three conventions; individual requests and formal correspondence, including import response forms; the conclusions and recommendations emanating from the effectiveness evaluation of the Stockholm Convention 1 and the review of the synergies arrangements for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions; 2 feedback from the intersessional processes undertaken by subsidiary bodies; and needs identified through face-to-face and online activities, meetings and projects. A database has been established to keep track of all needs. 8. On the basis of information provided by Parties in 2016 in their needs assessment questionnaires for each of the three conventions, and supported by information from other sources, Parties main needs and challenges include the following: (a) The Parties to the Basel Convention indicated that their highest priority was the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, followed by the disposal of hazardous wastes, national coordination and legal and institutional frameworks. Another area highlighted as a priority was the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes. In that context, many 1 UNEP/POPS/COP.8/22/Add.1, annex. 2 UNEP/CHW.13/INF/43-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/29-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/46. 2

3 Parties drew attention to such issues as lack of awareness, challenges in the use of the notification and movement documents, and insurance, bonds and guarantees. Some Parties requested support with regard to the ratification of the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention. Regional specificities included greater demand for assistance related to national coordination in African and Latin American and Caribbean States, while Asian and Pacific States requested more assistance with national reporting and Central and Eastern European States with the control procedure for transboundary movements, as well as waste minimization. African States also highlighted needs in the area of legal and institutional frameworks; (b) The Parties to the Rotterdam Convention indicated their highest priorities as follows: support for customs officers in implementing the Convention; legal and institutional frameworks; national coordination (including national action plans); monitoring and reporting of pesticide poisoning incidents related to severely hazardous pesticide formulations; and obligations related to risk evaluation, labelling, and alternatives to chemicals listed in Annex III to the Convention. Under Article 6 of the Rotterdam Convention particular assistance was requested with regard to the collection of data on poisoning incidents and the preparation of the relevant forms in collaboration with designated national authorities in order to strengthen collaboration at the national level. Looking at regional priorities, African Parties to the Convention requested more assistance for national coordination, customs and legal and institutional frameworks, as well as for the monitoring and reporting of incidents related to severely hazardous pesticide formulations and regional cooperation among designated national authorities and official contact points. Asian and Pacific States described their priority assistance needs as pertaining to legal and institutional frameworks as well as information exchange obligations, whereas the needs of Parties from Central and Eastern European States related to customs, alternatives to chemicals listed in Annex III to the Convention and final regulatory actions. As for Latin American and Caribbean States, Parties in that region accorded high priority to customs issues, followed by the monitoring and reporting of incidents related to severely hazardous pesticide formulations and alternatives to Annex III chemicals; (c) Parties to the Stockholm Convention indicated as areas of priority need stockpiles and wastes, unintentionally produced persistent organic pollutants, legal and institutional frameworks, industrial persistent organic pollutants and national implementation plans. To a lesser extent, their priorities included national coordination, national reports and persistent organic pollutant pesticides. In terms of regional specificities among the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, African and Asian and Pacific States focused less on industrial chemicals, while Central and Eastern European States needed less assistance with national implementation plans. African States indicated that they had experienced a greater number of challenges with regard to national reporting. 9. A number of priority needs were identified during the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Stockholm Convention pursuant to Article 16 of the Convention. 3 They included the collection and sharing of data on persistent organic pollutants in use and newly listed persistent organic pollutants; the strengthening of data collection mechanisms and methods for preparing and maintaining inventories; the strengthening of legislation on the management of chemicals throughout their life cycles; the introduction of guidance and methodologies for phasing in safer and affordable alternatives; and the identification and management of stockpiles and wastes and, as appropriate, contaminated sites. 10. A number of findings relevant to technical assistance and capacity-building were identified in the report on the review of the synergies arrangements 4 prepared in 2016 for consideration by the conferences of the Parties at their 2017 meetings. Of primary importance was the need for the Secretariat to explore ways of facilitating North-South and South-South cooperation. An optimum balance between training activities led by the Secretariat and those led by the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions was recommended, as well as clarification of the role of the regional centres in the Secretariat s overall technical assistance strategy. For example, taking into consideration Parties needs, face-to-face and online training activities should be delivered, where possible in the native languages of the participating Parties. Many Parties - especially developing country Parties - stated their preference for more face-to-face technical assistance delivered at the regional level by local experts, in addition to support provided by international experts. Improved awareness of the Secretariat s regional focal point system and the support it could offer to Parties was another recommendation arising from the review. More information on the review of the synergies 3 See UNEP/POPS/COP.8/22 and Add.1, annex. 4 UNEP/CHW.13/INF/43-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/29-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/46. 3

4 4 arrangements is available in document UNEP/CHW.13/22-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/21- UNEP/POPS/COP.8/ In terms of the delivery of technical assistance, Parties across the regions specified a preference for face-to-face training (workshops or training the trainers ), support for project proposal development, support for the development and implementation of specific projects and support through the availability of tools and guidance. Despite some regional disparities, Parties were generally less interested in e-learning tools such as online courses without trainer support or toolkits, online training such as webinars and videos. More detailed information on the needs assessment conducted for each of the three conventions is available in documents UNEP/CHW.13/INF/35, UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/25 and UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/23. C. Technical assistance plan for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions for the period The current technical assistance and capacity-building programme has four main components: needs assessment and the development of supporting tools and methodologies; capacity-development; partnerships; and regional delivery. It was developed and presented to the Parties for the first time at the meetings of the conferences of the Parties held in Since then the Secretariat has been implementing its technical assistance activities based on the programme. 13. Based on past experience in implementation, lessons learned and the needs expressed by Parties, the Secretariat has developed a four-year technical assistance plan (UNEP/CHW.13/INF/36- UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/26-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/25), replacing the current biennial programme approach with a view to better addressing the needs of Parties and providing strengthened support to them in their implementation of the conventions. The activities are now planned in such a way as to allow for improved impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation while advancing the implementation of capacity-development and assisting Parties to address their needs and barriers to resolving those needs in a strategic, systematic and forward-looking manner. 14. The plan is based on objectives and guiding principles that together set a strategic direction for the technical assistance activities to support Parties in implementing the conventions. In the light of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it also seeks to support Parties in integrating chemicals and wastes management into national strategies for sustainable development. 15. The plan includes activities that Parties, non-party States, regional centres and other organizations can implement at the national, regional and international levels and identifies desirable interventions based on tangible outcomes and indicators in line with the decisions adopted by the conferences of the Parties. Recognizing that long-term planning facilitates the achievement of the appropriate impacts at the national level, the plan allows for the short-term objectives of the former technical assistance programme to be extended to medium-term and long-term outputs and outcomes with the aim of achieving sustainable development. The key features of the plan include the following: (a) Promoting a life cycle approach to chemicals and waste management based on the policy-science-business interface and including consideration of socio-economic implications, the development of business cases to address specific challenges, making use of economic incentives and encouraging cooperation with universities and the private sector; (b) Facilitating North-South and South-South cooperation between Parties by engaging developed-country Parties in technical assistance in their expert capacities and tailoring technical assistance to the specific needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition (e.g., least developed countries and small island developing States); (c) Supporting, and further disseminating the outcomes of, activities undertaken in other areas of the programmes of work of the conventions and endorsed by the conferences of the Parties, in particular the work undertaken by subsidiary bodies such as the expert working group on environmentally sound management of the Basel Convention, the Committee Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance under the Basel Convention and the intersessional working group on the process of listing chemicals in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention, as well as the outcomes of activities such as the global monitoring plan for persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention; (d) Reaffirming the important role of regional centres, intergovernmental organizations, other partners and stakeholders in capacity development and in ensuring a coherent and coordinated approach to technical assistance under the three conventions, including the special role in providing assistance to developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition of the United Nations

5 Environment Programme (UNEP) and FAO in the light of their specific mandates, which are closely linked to the conventions, and their status as participating organizations of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals; (e) Complementing the support provided to developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition through the activities financed by the Global Environment Facility and the special programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level to enhance the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management; (f) Aligning the collection of information on technical assistance and capacity-building needs with the four-year-cycle of the technical assistance plan, undertaking the assessment of the needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition, as well as the technical assistance and technology that developed country Parties and others can provide, through electronic questionnaires every four years, analysing such information, identifying gaps in and barriers to technical assistance and technology transfer, developing recommendations on technical assistance and capacity-building activities to address those issues as a basis for the next technical assistance plan for the consideration of the conferences of the Parties at their meetings in 2021 and, in the meantime, collecting information on technical assistance needs through the database of technical assistance and capacity-building needs. 16. Capacity development to support Parties in the implementation of each of the three conventions focuses on the following thematic areas: (a) Basel Convention: national strategies for the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes, control procedures for transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes, the take-back procedure, the Ban Amendment, the disposal of hazardous wastes and waste prevention and minimization; (b) Rotterdam Convention: national action plans, information exchange obligations, effective participation in the work of the Chemical Review Committee, submission of import responses for pesticides and industrial chemicals listed in Annex III to the Convention, alternatives to Annex III chemicals, monitoring, data collection, reporting of pesticide poisoning incidents related to severely hazardous pesticide formulations, national decision-making process related to banning or restricting chemicals and submission of notifications of final regulatory action, and the establishment of systems and procedures for sending export notifications with regard to banned or severely restricted chemicals not listed in Annex III to the Convention; (c) Stockholm Convention: guidance for the development and updating of national implementation plans, including on inventories, effective participation in the work of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, elimination or restriction of the production and use of intentionally produced persistent organic pollutants, alternatives to persistent organic pollutants, reduction or elimination of releases of unintentionally produced persistent organic pollutants, persistent organic pollutants in articles, stockpiles, and the environmentally sound management and disposal of persistent organic pollutant wastes; (d) Cross-cutting areas pertinent to two or all three of the conventions: legal and institutional frameworks, national coordination, the exchange of information on chemicals and wastes, the provision of support to customs officers, illegal traffic and trade of hazardous chemicals and wastes, inventories, national reporting under the Basel and Stockholm conventions, gender and social dimensions, the mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into national sustainable development strategies in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, accident prevention and preparedness for hazardous waste and chemicals emergencies, the strengthening of the science-policy-business interface, regional cooperation among entities responsible for the implementation of the conventions, and the enhancement of skills for chairing meetings of convention bodies. 5

6 III. Proposed action 17. Each of the three conferences of the Parties may wish to adopt a decision along the following lines: 5 The Conference of the Parties Noting the needs recognized in decision SC-8/[ ] on effectiveness evaluation as they relate to technical assistance 6 and the recommendations contained in the report on the overall review of the synergies arrangements, 7 1. Requests the Secretariat to continue to collect, through the database established for that purpose, information on the technical assistance and capacity-building needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition; 2. Endorses the technical assistance plan for the period and requests the Secretariat, subject to the availability of resources, to implement it in cooperation with relevant actors; 3. Encourages Parties, regional centres and others: (a) To make financial or in-kind contributions to facilitate the availability of capacity-development materials and activities in the six official languages of the United Nations; (b) To undertake capacity-building activities in local languages, as appropriate; 4. Requests the Secretariat to explore additional ways of facilitating North-South and South-South cooperation in its technical assistance plan referred to in paragraph 2 above; 5. Emphasizes the key role of the regional centres, as set out in the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, as well as the regional, subregional and country offices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme and other participating organizations of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals, in delivering upon request technical assistance at the regional level for the Basel Convention, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention and facilitating technology transfer to eligible Parties; 6. Joins the United Nations Environment Assembly in highlighting the role of the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions in assisting the regions in the implementation of the two conventions and in other relevant work pertaining to the multilateral environmental agreements in the chemicals and waste cluster in the countries they serve; 9 5 At its meeting held on 11 and 12 July 2016, the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention agreed that for agenda item 4 (d) pertaining to technical assistance, the outcome of the discussion of the three related sub-items would be presented as one omnibus decision on technical assistance of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention. To that end, the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention may wish to adopt the draft decision set out in the section on proposed action of the present note as part I of the omnibus decision on technical assistance for the Basel Convention, and the decisions set out in documents UNEP/CHW.13/11 on Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres and UNEP/CHW.13/12 on the implementation of decision V/32 on the enlargement of the scope of the Trust Fund to Assist Developing and Other Countries in Need of Technical Assistance in the Implementation of the Basel Convention as part II and part III, respectively, of the omnibus decision. The Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention may wish to consider a similar approach in adopting the draft decision set out in the present note as part I of an omnibus decision on technical assistance for the Stockholm Convention and the draft decision set out in document UNEP/POPS/COP.8/16, on Stockholm Convention regional and subregional centres for capacity-building and the transfer of technology, as part II of an omnibus decision on technical assistance. 6 Only applies to the decision to be considered by the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention. 7 UNEP/CHW.13/INF/43-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/29-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/46. 8 UNEP/CHW.13/INF/36-UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.8/INF/26-UNEP/POPS/COP.8/INF/25. 9 See United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 2/7 on the sound management of chemicals and waste. 6

7 7. Requests the Secretariat to submit a report to the Conference of the Parties at its next meeting on the implementation of the technical assistance plan for the period , including, as appropriate, proposals to adjust the plan, for consideration and possible adoption by the Conference of the Parties. 7

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