Towards a global treaty to end plastic pollution – Progress report on the week of negotiations (3 June 2023)


The second session to negotiate a global treaty to end plastic pollution, which brought together delegations from 175 countries and representatives of civil society, drew to a close at UNESCO yesterday.

Three other negotiating sessions are planned with a view to reaching a legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.

In Paris, a compromise was reached in order to move forward on the fundamental discussions (objectives, measures and institutional architecture) and draw out the first points of convergence. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) mandated its Chair to draft a preliminary version of the treaty ahead of the third negotiating session, which will take place in Nairobi in November, thus allowing the process to follow its course.

This negotiating session met the following objectives:

  • to elect the 10 members of the Negotiating Committee Bureau, which was not achieved during the first session. This body is essential for the continuation of the negotiations.
  • to discuss the objectives and outline of the future treaty, on the basis of the 12 obligations identified by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);
  • to gather States’ views on the future agreement’s institutional architecture, including the financial mechanisms for implementation, the cooperation arrangements between the future States parties and the framework for assessing global and national progress on achieving the future objectives;
  • to secure a mandate for the INC Chair, Mr Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez, to draw up a first draft of the treaty between now and the third negotiating session;
  • to choose the host countries for the next three negotiating sessions – Kenya, Canada and South Korea – and identify the candidates to host the conference to adopt the future agreement (scheduled to be held in 2025).

The High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution (HAC EPP), represented by a group of 58 countries intent on obtaining the most ambitious treaty possible, including France, was a particular driving force behind the discussions, and will continue to be so in the next negotiating sessions.

To honour the 2024 objective, Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, emphasizes that this progress must allow an ambitious, legally binding agreement to be adopted which is commensurate with the global challenge plastic pollution represents in terms of health, biodiversity and the climate.
Christophe Béchu, Minister for the Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, recalls the importance of the discussions and international negotiation continuing between this session and the following one in Kenya.

Bérangère Couillard, Minister of State for Ecology, welcomes the objectives achieved, which will allow the future negotiations in Nairobi in November to get under way with a solid basis for further convergence towards an ambitious global treaty against plastic pollution.