• English

Sixth 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) – preparatory segment

 

Daily Summary
Highlights from Monday, 11 September 2017


The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 6) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) convened on Monday, 11 September, in Budva, Montenegro.

After an opening musical performance, H.E. Mr. Pavle Radulović, Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, welcomed all the participants to the MOP 6 and outlined the importance given by Montenegro to applying the sustainable development principles in decision-making and recognizing the human rights value of the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention. 

 

The Chair of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention, Ms. Maia Bitadze, welcomed all the participants and announced the agenda of the session. In his welcoming remarks, the Director of the UNECE Environment Division, Mr. Marco Keiner, underscored the objectives of the Budva events, including reviewing implementation of the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), defining future priorities and addressing the relevance of the two instruments to the Sustainable Development Goals. He also stressed the importance of adopting a Declaration covering this matter, along with several other emerging issues related to environmental democracy.

The MOP then adopted the provisional agenda for its sixth session.

Delegates moved on to considering the draft decisions on compliance by Parties with their obligations under the Convention.

The draft decisions concerning compliance by Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czechia, Kazakhstan and Spain with their obligations under the Convention were approved without amendments and forwarded for provisional adoption at the general segment. The draft decisions concerning compliance by Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with their obligations under the Convention, the MOP agreed on the changes requested by the Parties concerned and approved the draft decisions with amendments. Following the lack of consensus in the case of the European Union, the MOP decided to establish an informal contact group, moderated by the Chair, and to continue the discussion at the general segment. 

The delegates then discussed the possibility of a mandatory scheme of contributions proposed within the draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention, but given the lack of consensus, no decision was taken. The MOP then considered the draft decision on reporting requirements, which observed some factual revisions about timely submissions of reports, and approved it by consensus and forwarded it for adoption at the general segment. The Chair informed the MOP that Sweden offered to continue the chairmanship of the Task Force on Access to Justice and that the draft decision on access to justice had been factually amended to reflect this information.

The preparatory segment ended with the approval by consensus of the Draft Budva Declaration on Environmental Democracy for our Sustainable Future with a minor factual change.

Side events engaged participants on a variety of issues, including the access to justice, protection of environmental activists and public participation in the context of GMOs.