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Twenty-second meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

19 - 21 June 2018

Salle XII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

The twenty-second meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention will be held on 19-21 June 2018 in Geneva (Palais des Nations, Salle XII). The Working Group is expected to review the progress in implementing the 2015-2017 and the current work programmes and discuss a number of items, including, progress achieved in promoting access to information, public participation and access to justice, and in ratification of the Convention's amendment on genetically modified organisms; financial matters; and promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages. Two thematic sessions, on access to information and on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums, will be held during the meeting. Further, a special segment to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Aarhus Convention will be organized on the second day of the meeting.

Special Segment on the Anniversary of the adoption of the Aarhus Convention

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Aarhus Convention, the meeting will feature a special segment during which delegates will hear testimonies by former and present Chairs of different bodies of the Convention, representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and other experts, who played an important role in promoting the Convention. Moreover, youth will be invited to discuss with delegates how they consider Aarhus rights help them to create a sustainable future. Parties and different stakeholders will be also given opportunity to network and explore potential areas for matching needs with the available expertise. In addition, Parties and stakeholders will be invited to contribute to several communication activities that are planned to mark the Anniversary.

Thematic session on access to information

A thematic session on access to information will be organized in the format of an interactive panel discussion followed by a general discussion on several subjects, including: (a) the benefits of providing public access to environmental information and the challenges encountered; (b) the scope of environmental information; (c) the providers of information; (d) exceptions to the provision of information and grounds for refusal; (e) the format of the information to be provided and timeliness; and (f) dissemination of real-time, up-to-date, accurate and functional environmental information in forms and formats meeting the needs of different users. The detailed programme for the thematic session will be made available on the meeting web page in due course.

Thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums

The meeting will feature a thematic session on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums. The session will focus primarily on the promotion of transparency and effective public participation in international decision-making on chemicals and waste. This will include panel presentations and round table discussion on processes under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Chemical Conventions (Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions), the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

In addition, the Working Group will consider progress made with regard to items discussed at the previous thematic sessions. This includes
(i) climate-related processes with the focus on lessons learned from the twenty-third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and preparations for COP-24;
(ii) stakeholder engagement in the United Nations Environment Assembly and the UNEP access to information policies;
(iii) Sustainable Development Goals-related processes; and
(iv) International Financial Institutions-related processes.
The Working Group will also address crosscutting issues related to international decision-making (e.g., hosting of an international event; identification of the public).

Documents

The provisional agenda for the meeting is available below. All other meeting documents will be uploaded on this page as soon as they become available.

Kindly note that this is a paper free meeting. No documents will be made available in the meeting room. Please check this webpage regularly and make sure that you bring with you all documents required for the meeting.

Registration, Visa, Financial support and Practical information

Limited funds are available to support delegates from countries with economies in transition, eligible for financial support, NGOs and invited speakers. Participants who are applying for financial support should register as soon as possible, but before 30 April 2018 through the following link: https://uncdb.unece.org/app/ext/meeting-registration?id=BYvoxQ.

Representatives of Governments should submit the completed financial support form to the secretariat by e-mail (public.participation@unece.org) before the same date – 30 April 2018. Kindly note that financial support request would be considered only after submission of duly filled in financial support request form and online registration through the link mentioned above.

NGO participants requesting for financial support should indicate “financial support requested” in the comments box while registering online before the same date – 30 April 2018.

Participants who are not applying for financial support are requested to register online before 25 May 2018 through the following link: https://uncdb.unece.org/app/ext/meeting-registration?id=BYvoxQ  

Please ensure while registering online that you provide us with your contacts (e.g. post address, phone number, email address) which can be made publicly available through the list of participants.

Participants requiring a personal invitation letter for visa purposes should click on the “visa required” option and register for the meeting as early as possible, taking into account the period required to obtain the visa.

Wireless internet is available in all meeting rooms. Kindly note that electrical power plugs and sockets are unique to Switzerland within the UNECE region (type J, three-pin, 230 V, 50 Hz), and respectively require an adaptor, though slim two-pin plugs (type C) will fit. For additional practical information, please consult: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/practical.

Key dates to remember

Deadline for registration with financial support: 30 April 2018
Deadline for registration without financial support: 25 May 2018

 

 

Documents 

Document titleENGFRERUS
Provisional Agenda, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2018/1)PDFPDFPDF
Item 3(c)
Report of the Task Force on Access to Justice on its eleventh meeting, advance edited copy (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2018/3)PDF
Item 5
Expression of intention by Guinea-Bissau to accede to the Convention, advance edited copy (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2018/6)PDF
Item 6
Report on the implementation of the work programmes for 2015–2017 and 2018–2021, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2018/4)PDFPDFPDF
Report on contributions and expenditures in relation to the implementation of the Convention’s work programmes for 2015–2017 and 2018–2021, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2018/5)PDFPDFPDF