The fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) took place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from 30 June 2014 to 2 July 2014, at the kind invitation of the Government of the Netherlands. The meeting venue was the Maastricht Exhibition and Conference Centre (MECC). The fifth session was held back to back with the second session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (Protocol on PRTRs) (3-4 July 2014) and the joint High-level Segment of the two Meetings (2 July 2014).
The event provided a platform for Parties, Signatories, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to discuss achievements and challenges in promoting a wide range of topics, including access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.
As the international community embarks on charting the way for an ambitious post 2015 development agenda with new Sustainable Development Goals, the Convention and its Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers already provide an essential framework for Governments to effectively engage different stakeholders in decision-making, thereby offering solutions to truly sustainable governance.
At the session the Parties discussed global promotion of the Convention and agreed on a number of decisions to guide their implementation in the next intersessional period, including future strategic plan and work programme.
In the same meeting venue, the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention was preceded by:
- Provisional Organisation of work
- Documents, statements and other material
- Election of the Compliance Committee members
The meeting will start on Monday, 30 June 2014, at 10 a.m. and will finish on Wednesday, 2 July 2014, at 5 p.m.
The session will include:
- General Segment (30 June 2014 – 1 July 2014)
- High-level Segment (2 July 2014) to be jointly organized with the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs.
All sessions, except for a high-level segment, will be organised in the format of a plenary. To allow as many speakers as possible for every agenda item, interventions from the floor should last not more than 3 minutes. Delegations are encouraged to submit text of their statements in electronic form to the secretariat (aarhus-prtr-mops[at]unece.org, indicating in the subject line “MoP-5 statement”) prior to the meeting, preferable by 15 June 2014.
Simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Russian will be provided during all formal sessions.
For questions related to the programme, please send your correspondence to the UNECE secretariat (aarhus-prtr-mops[at]unece.org).
The credentials of all representatives of the Parties and the names of alternative representatives and advisers shall be submitted to the UNECE secretariat.
To facilitate the procedure of verification of credentials, Parties to the Convention are invited to submit delegates’ credentials or a scan copy of their credentials to the UNECE secretariat (aarhus-prtr-mops[at]unece.org, indicating in the subject line “MoP-5 credentials”) by 15 June 2014. Those Parties that submitted a copy of their credentials should present the originals to the UNECE secretariat before the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties, as soon as possible on arrival at the meeting in Maastricht.
Credentials, which are normally issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or any other person duly empowered in accordance with national legislation to do so, should indicate the composition of the delegation, including the Head of delegation, and should state that the respective delegation is empowered to participate in the meeting and to take decisions on behalf of the respective Government, following the applicable the rules of procedure (see an example of credentials in English, French and Russian).
Documents, statements and other material for the meeting are available here
At its fifth session (Maastricht, 30 June-2 July 2014), the Meeting of the Parties is expected to elect five members of the Compliance Committee in accordance with the procedure set out in decision I/7 on the review of compliance (ECE/MP.PP/2/Add.8, En, Fr, Ru), in conjunction with decision I/1 on the rules of procedure (ECE/MP.PP/2/Add.2, En, Fr, Ru). To this end, Parties, Signatories and non-governmental organizations promoting environmental protection were invited to nominate candidates of recognized competence in the fields to which the Convention relates, including persons having legal experience.
The following candidates have been nominated for the Compliance Committee under the Aarhus Convention:
Mr. Shovkat BAKIROV
Ms. Carol DAY
European ECO-Forum (NGO)
Mr. Jonas EBBESSON
Ms. Elena FASOLI
Mr. Jan HEYMAN
Mr. Csaba KISS
Justice and Environment (NGO)
Mr. Alexander KODZHABASHEV
BlueLink.net/Blue Link Foundation (NGO)
Mr. Gerhard LOIBL
Mr. Alistair MCGLONE
United Kingdom and Ireland
Mr. Michel PRIEUR
Ms. Aine RYALL
Irish Natural Forestry Foundation and European ECO-Forum (NGOs)
Ms. Dana ZHANDAYEVA
Civil Society Development Organization (ARGO) and European ECO-Forum (NGOs)
The Meeting of the Parties is expected to elect the members of the Committee by consensus, or failing consensus, by secret ballot. The Committee will elect its own Chair and Vice-Chair at the next Committee’s meeting after the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties. For more detailed information about the process to elect the members of the Compliance Committee please consult the note on the membership of the Compliance Committee for the sixteenth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties (Geneva, 19-21 June 2013) (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2013/11, En, Fr, Ru).