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Seventeenth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

26 - 28 February 2014

Geneva, Switzerland

The seventeenth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention was held on 26-28 February 2014 in Geneva (Palais des Nations, Salle XIX). The Working Group reviewed the progress in implementing the current work programme and discussed a number of items in preparation for the fifth ordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties, including:

■Draft outline of declaration to be adopted by the Meetings of the Parties’ of the Aarhus Convention and Protocol on PRTRs;
■Draft decisions on future strategic plan 2015-2020 and on future work programme 2015-2017;
■Draft decisions on access to information, public participation and access to justice;
■Draft decision on financial arrangements; and
■Agenda for the fifth ordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties.

Furthermore, the meeting featured a thematic session on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums. The programme for the session is available on the meeting's website.

Prior to the seventeenth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties a meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice was organized from 24-25 February 2014 in Geneva.

Documents for the meeting

Documents for the Working Group of the Parties meeting

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Provisional Agenda (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/1)

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Report of the seventeenth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/2 - advance edited copy)

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Report on the implementation of the work programme for 2012-2014 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/3)

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Overview of contributions and expenditures in relation to the  implementation of the Convention’s work programme for  2012–2014 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/7)

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Item 3 (a)

Report of the second meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/4)

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Accompanying document to the Report (AC/TF.AI-2/Inf.2/Add.1)

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Key outcomes of the meeting (AC/TF.AI-2/Inf.4)

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Draft decision on access to information (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.1)

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Approved draft decision on access to information (AC/WGP-17/CRP.1)

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Item 3 (b)

Draft decision on public participation in decision-making(ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.2)

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Approved draft decision on public participation in decision-making (AC/WGP-17/CRP.2)

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Item 3 (c)

Report of the sixth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/5)

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Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice(ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.3)

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Approved draft decision on promoting effective access to justice (AC/WGP-17/CRP.3)

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Item 3 (d)

Report of the round table on access to information, public participation and access to justice regarding LMOs/GMOs (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/6)

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Item 4 (b)

Report of the eighth capacity-building coordination meeting (AC/WGP-17/Inf.3) - Advance version

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Item 6

Note on the ratio of extrabudgetory contributions vis-à-vis regular budget contributions for environmental activities in the UNECE (AC/WGP-17/Inf.2)

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Item 7: Thematic session on promoting the principles of the Convention in international forums (PPIF)

Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.4)

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Approved draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums (AC/WGP-17/CRP.4)

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Item 8 (a)

Draft provisional agenda for the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.9)

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Item 8 (b)

Draft decision on the Strategic Plan 2015-2020(ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.5)

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Approved draft decision on the Strategic Plan for 2015–2020 (AC/WGP-17/CRP.5)

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Overview of implementation of the Strategic Plan 2009-2014 (AC/WGP-17/Inf.1)

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Item 8 (c)

Draft decision on the work programme for 2015-2017 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.6)

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Approved draft decision on the work programme for 2015-2017 (AC/WGP-17/CRP.6)

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Item 8 (d)

Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention(ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.7)

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Approved draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention (AC/WGP-17/CRP.7)

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Item 8 (e)

Draft decision on reporting requirements (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.10)

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Item 8 (f)

Draft of the joint declaration by the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention and the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2014/L.8)

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Approved draft of the joint declaration by the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention and the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs(AC/WGP-17/CRP.8)

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Item 11

List of decisions and major outcomes of the meeting (AC/WGP-17/Inf.4)

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Comments received – 3rd round and Statements

Comments on documents for the 17th meeting of WGP – 3rd round

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Agenda item 3 (a): Access to information

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 3 (a): Access to information

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Agenda item 3 (b): Public participation in decision-making

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 3 (b): Public participation in decision-making

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Agenda item 3 (c): Access to justice

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 3 (c): Access to justice

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Agenda item 4 (a): Compliance mechanism

Statement by Austria to the agenda item 4 (a): Compliance mechanism

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Agenda item 4 (b): Capacity-building and awareness-raising

Statement by the OSCE Ukraine to the agenda item 4b: Capacity-building and awareness-raising

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Statement by Serbia to the agenda item 4b: Capacity-building and awareness-raising

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Statement by QUNO to the agenda item 4b: Capacity-building and awareness-raising

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Agenda item 5: Accession by States not members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and promotion of the Convention’s principles in other regions

Statement by Chile to the agenda item 5

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Agenda item 7: Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 7

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Statement by EEB to the agenda item 7 

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Statement by Bankwatch to the agenda item 7

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Agenda item 8 (a): Agenda of the fifth session

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (a): Agenda of the fifth session

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Agenda item 8 (b): Strategic plan for 2015–2020

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (b): Strategic plan for 2015–2020

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Agenda item 8 (c): Programme of work for 2015–2017

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (c): Programme of work for 2015–2017

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Agenda item 8 (d): Financial arrangements under the Convention

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (d): Financial arrangements under the Convention

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Agenda item 8 (e): Reporting requirements

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (e): Reporting requirements

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Statement by Bosnia and Herzegovina to the agenda item 8 (e): Reporting requirements

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Agenda item 8 (f): Declaration

Statement and comment by the EU and its Member States to the agenda item 8 (f): Declaration

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Comments by Armenia to the agenda item 8 (f): Declaration

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Comments received – 2nd round

Comments received prior to the  thirty-second Bureau meeting – 2nd round (2-3 December 2013)

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Draft decision on Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 under the Aarhus Convention

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 under the Aarhus Convention

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Comments by Cefic to the Draft decision on Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on the work programme for 2015–2017 under the Aarhus Convention

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on the work programme for 2015–2017 under the Aarhus Convention

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Comments by Cefic to the Draft decision on the work programme for 2015–2017 under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Aarhus Convention

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Aarhus Convention

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Comments by Norway to the Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on access to information

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on access to information

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Comments by CropLife International and CEFIC to the Draft decision on access to information

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Draft decision on public participation in decision-making

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on public participation in decision-making

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Comments by CropLife International and CEFIC to the Draft decision on public participation in decision-making

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Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice

Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice

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Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

Outcomes of the third meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs related to the Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

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Comments by the EU and its Member States to the Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

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Comments by Norway to the Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

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CropLife International and CEFIC to the Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

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Comments by the European ECO-forum to the Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration

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Documents for consultation – 1st round

Documents subject to consultation prior to the thirty-second Bureau meeting – 1st round (2-3 December 2013)

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Draft decision on Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on the work programme for 2015–2017 under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Aarhus Convention

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Draft provisional agenda for the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

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Draft decision on access to information

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Draft decision on public participation in decision-making

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Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice

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Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums

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Draft elements for the Maastricht Declaration (ECE/MP.PRTR/WG.1/2013/12), as submitted to the third meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs

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PPIF thematic session

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Provisional Agenda 

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Format and organizational aspects of the high level political forum on sustainable development and other important developments,
Division for Sustainable Development/UNDESA

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Update on EBRD revision of the environmental and social policy
Ms. Elizabeth Smith, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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Statement on observer engagement in the UNFCCC process
United Nations Climate Change Secretariat

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Statement on the activities of the European Investment Bank to promote the principles of the Aarhus Convention
Mr. Alcarpe Felismino, European Investment Bank

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Developing new modalities for stakeholder engagement in UNEP
Mr. Alexander Juras, UNEP

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Chair's summary of responses received by Parties to the "3-minute survey" on measures to systematically promote the principles of the Convention in international forums

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Checklist of measures to be borne in mind when developing an action plan to systematically promote the principles of the Convention in all international forums dealing with matters relating to the environment

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Draft leaflet for government officials on promoting public participation in international forums

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Questionnaire on the Almaty Guidelines.
Response provided by the secretariat of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (Espoo 1991)

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Espoo Convention and its Protocol on SEA 
Ms Elena Santer Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (Espoo 1991)

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Questionnaire on the Almaty Guidelines.
Response provided by the secretariat of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution

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Promotion of the principles of the Aarhus Convention under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
Ms Franziska Ilg, Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution

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Questionnaire on the Almaty Guidelines.
Response provided by the secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) 

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Promotion of the Aarhus principles under the Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health
Ms Chantal Demilecamps, Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention)

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Questionnaire on the Almaty Guidelines. 
Response provided by the secretariat of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents

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Public Participation and the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents
Mr Nikolay Savov, Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents

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Synthesis of responses received by the UNECE Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) to the questionnaire on the Almaty Guidelines (February 2014

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Responses received by the UNECE Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) during the 2006-2007 consultation process on the Almaty Guidelines 


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013