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Twenty-first meeting of the Working Group of the Parties

4 - 6 April 2017

Salle XII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

The twenty-first meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention was held on 4-6 April 2017 in Geneva (Palais des Nations, Salle XII). The Working Group reviewed the progress in implementing the current work programme and discussed a number of items in preparation for the sixth ordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties (Montenegro, 11-14 September 2017).

DOCUMENTS

Draft decisions 

The Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention at its twentieth meeting (Geneva, 15-17 June 2016) requested the Bureau to prepare the following draft decisions for the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties:

Draft decision on access to information

Draft decision on public participation in decision-making

Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice

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

Draft decision on the work programme for 2018-2021 

Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention 

The above draft decisions were prepared by the Bureau on the basis of the relevant outcomes of the twentieth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties; the Notes by the Chairs of the Convention’s Task Forces (AC/WGP–20/Inf.1; AC/WGP–20/Inf.2; and AC/WGP–20/Inf.3), by the Chair of the Compliance Committee (AC/WGP–20/Inf.4) and by the Chair of the Thematic Session on the Promotion of the Principles of the Convention in International Forums (AC/WGP–16/Inf.5), submitted to the twentieth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties, and relevant decisions on the respective subject matters, adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its fifth session (Maastricht, the Netherlands, 30 June-1 July 2014).

All draft decisions were distributed to Parties and stakeholders on 27 September 2016 for comments with the deadline to respond before 7 November 2016. The draft declaration was also made available to Parties to both treaties and all stakeholders for comments. National focal points for the Convention and the Protocol were requested to coordinate their comments on the document and to submit to the secretariat one consolidated input per country, before 18 November 2016. Upon completion of the round of consultations, the Bureau considered the comments received and finalised the draft decisions for their submission to the twenty-first meeting of the Working Group of the Parties. 

The Working Group of the Parties is expected at its twenty-first meeting (Geneva, 4-6 April 2017) to consider and approve the draft decisions and submit them to the Meeting of the Parties at its sixth session for consideration. 

Draft Declaration

The Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention at its twentieth meeting (Geneva, 15-17 June 2016) requested the Bureau to prepare, in light of the comments provided at the meeting, a draft declaration, jointly with the Protocol’s Bureau, for its submission to the twenty-first meeting of the Working Group for consideration and approval and subsequent submission to the Meeting of the Parties for consideration. 

Pursuant to this decision, the draft declaration was made available for comments through this webpage (see below). It was at the same time submitted to the fifth meeting Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol (23-24 November 2016) and also made available to Parties to both treaties and stakeholders for comments. 

Following the consultations, the document was revised, taking into consideration the comments received, and is submitted to the Convention’s Working Group of the Parties at its twenty-first meeting. The document will then be revised again by the two Bureaux, in the light of the comments received, and submitted to the Meetings of the Parties for consideration at their joint high-level session in September 2017.

Draft provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties

The Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention at its twentieth meeting (Geneva, 15-17 June 2016) requested the Bureau to prepare, in light of the comments provided at the meeting, a draft provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties for its submission to the twenty-first meeting of the Working Group for consideration and approval and subsequent submission to the Meeting of the Parties for consideration. As there was a general support to the draft outline of the agenda submitted to the twentieth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties (see document ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2016/10 available from www.unece.org/env/pp/aarhus/wgp20) the document was not amended after the meeting. 

The draft agenda was circulated for comments to Parties and stakeholders following which it was revised by the Bureau and submitted to the Convention’s Working Group of the Parties at its twenty-first meeting for approval. 

Documents for the meeting

Documents ENGFRERUS
Provisional Agenda, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/1)PDFPDFPDF
Report. advance edited copy (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/2)PDF
List of ParticipantsPDF
List of key decisions and outcomes (AC/WGP-21/Inf.1)  PDF
Item 3 (a)
Report of the Task Force on Access to Information on its fifth meeting,(ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/4)

PDF

PDF

PDF

Accompanying document to the summary report on the assessment of the implementation of the recommendations of the Meeting of the Parties on Electronic Information Tools (AC/WGP-21/Inf.2)PDF
Draft decision on promoting effective access to information, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.1)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on access to information (AC/WGP-21/CRP.1)PDF
Item 3 (b)
Report of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making on its seventh meeting, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/5)PDFPDFPDF
Draft decision on promoting effective public participation in decision-making,  (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.2)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on promoting effective public participation in decision-making (AC/WGP-21/CRP.2)PDF
Item 3 (c)
Report of the Task Force on Access to Justice on its ninth meeting, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/6)PDFPDFPDF
Draft decision on promoting effective access to justice (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.3)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on promoting effective access to justice (AC/WGP-21/CRP.3)PDF
Item 3 (d)
Report on the second joint round table on public awareness, access to information and public participation regarding living modified organisms/genetically modified organisms advance edited copy (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/8)PDF
Item 6
Report on the implementation of the work programme for 2015–2017, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/3)PDFPDFPDF
Report on contributions and expenditures in relation to the implementation of the work programme for 2015–2017, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/7)PDFPDFPDF
Note on contributions and pledges received after 10 January 2017PDF
Item 7
Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.4)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums ((AC/WGP-21/CRP.4)PDF
Item 8 (a)
Draft provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties,  (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.8)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Item 8 (b)
Draft decision on the work programme for 2018–2021, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.5)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Item 8 (c)
Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.6)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention (AC/WGP-21/CRP.6/Rev.1) PDF
Draft decision on financial arrangements under the Convention, as revised at the meeting (AC/WGP-21/CRP.6)DOC
Item 8 (d)
Draft decision on reporting requirements (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.9)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft decision on reporting requirements (AC/WGP-21/CRP.7)PDF
Item 8 (e)
Draft Budva Declaration on Environmental Democracy for Our Sustainable Future prepared by the Bureaux of the Meetings of the Parties, (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2017/L.7)DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
Approved draft Budva Declaration on Environmental Democracy for Our Sustainable Future prepared by the Bureaux of the Meetings of the Parties(AC/WGP-21/CRP.5/Rev.1)PDF
Draft Budva Declaration on Environmental Democracy for Our Sustainable Future prepared by the Bureaux of the Meetings of the Parties, as revised at the meeting (AC/WGP-21/CRP.5)DOC

 

 

 

Comments by the EU and its Member States
Draft decision on promoting effective public access to informationDOC
Draft decision on promoting effective public participation in decision-makingDOC
Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forumsDOC
Draft decision on reporting requirementsDOC
Draft elements of possible financial arrangementsDOC
Draft Budva DeclarationDOC
Comments by Aarhus Center, Belarus
Draft Budva DeclarationDOC
Comments by NGOs
Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forumsDOC
Draft Budva DeclarationDOC
Documents subject to consultation prior to the thirty-ninth Bureau meeting – 1st round ( 13-14 December 2016)
Draft decision on promoting effective public access to informationDOC
Draft decision on promoting effective public participation in decision-makingDOC
Draft decision on promoting effective access to justiceDOC
Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forumsDOC
Draft decision on the work programme for 2018–2021DOC
Draft elements of possible financial arrangementsDOC
Draft Budva Declaration, advance edited copy (ECE/MP.PRTR/WG.1/2016/13)

PDF

DOC


Comments received
Draft decision on promoting effective public access to information
Comments by the EU and its Member States

PDF
DOC

Comments by GeorgiaDOC
Draft decision on promoting effective public participation in decision-making

 

Comments by the EU and its Member States

PDF
DOC


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

PDF
DOC


Draft decision on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums
Comments by the EU and its Member States

PDF
DOC


Draft decision on the work programme for 2018–2021
Comments by the EU and its Member States

PDF
DOC

Comments by SwitzerlandDOC

Draft elements of possible financial arrangements
Comments by the EU and its Member States

PDF
DOC

Comments by SwitzerlandDOC
Draft Budva Declaration

Comments by the EU and its Member States
Word
Comments by GeorgiaDOC
Comments by ELRCDOC
Comments by REC CEEDOC

 

 

PPIF Thematic Session 

Document TitleENGFRERUS
Provisional Programme of the thematic session on the promotion of the Aarhus Convention's principles in international forums-with speakers (AC/WGP-21/Inf.4)PDF
Note on the rules of procedure and practices of the European Environment and Health Process (AC/WGP-21/Inf.6)PDF
Summary of the key outcomes of the survey on the promotion of the principles of the Aarhus Convention in the European Environment and Health ProcessPDF
Statements, presentations and other relevant documents
Stakeholder engagement in global and regional follow-up and review of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals,
written statement by the UNECE secretariat
PDF
Stakeholder engagement in the United Nations Environment Assembly and the UNEP's access to information policies
Written statement by UN Environment
PDF
Experiences gained and lessons learned from COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1 regarding observer engagement
Written statement by UNFCCC secretariat
PDF
Public participation in international processes related to Chemical Management
Written statement by Center for International Environmental Law
PDF
Public participation in the UNFCCC process
Written statement by Center for International Environmental Law
PDF
Eliminating environmental threats to human health requires transparent decision-making and public participation, Summary article on the thematic discussion of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention on the European Environment and Health Process, UNECE Weekly, No 707

 

 

 

Statements

TitleENGFRERUS
Statement by Georgia
Item 2 - Status of ratification of the Convention and the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, item 3 (a) - Access to information and item 3 (b) Public participation in decision-makingPDF
Statements by Norway
Item 3 (c) - Access to JusticePDF
Item 7 - Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forumsPDF
Item 8 (c) - Financial arrangementsPDF
Item 10 - Other BusinessPDF
Statements by EU and its Member States 
Item 3 (a) - Access to informationPDF
Item 3 (b) - Public participation in decision-makingPDF
Item 3 (c) -  Access to justicePDF
Item 3 (d) - Genetically modified organisms PDF
Item 4 (a) - Compliance mechanismPDF

Item 4 (b) - Capacity-building and awareness-raising

PDF
Item 5 - Promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages PDF
Item 6 - Implementation of the work programme for 2015-2017, including financial mattersPDF
Item 7 - Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forumsPDF
Item 8 (a) - Agenda of the sixth session of the Meeting of the PartiesPDF
Item 8 (b) - Programme of work for 2018-2021PDF
Item 8 (c) - Financial arrangements under the ConventionPDF
Item 8 (d) - Reporting requirementsPDF
Item 8 (e) - Draft Budva DeclarationPDF
Item 10 - Other Business (NGO allegations against Belarus)PDF
Statement by Belarus
Item 10 - Other business (reply to the statement of the European ECO Forum)PDF
Statement by European ECO Forum
Item 10 - Other business concerning situation in BelarusPDF