The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) welcomes the ratification by Cyprus of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), thus becoming the thirty-first Party to the Protocol as of 5 November 2012.
This ratification is timely as it comes shortly before the second meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol, which will be held in Geneva on 20 and 21 November 2012. The meeting is expected to review a number of issues, including progress in implementing the Protocol’s programme of work and the global promotion of the Protocol. The Working Group of the Parties will also discuss capacity-building activities and technical assistance on the basis of survey results that were circulated to national focal points and stakeholders earlier this year. As Cyprus is currently holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), it is coordinating the EU position at the meeting.
Aarhus Convention and Amendment on genetically modified organisms
The Aarhus Convention was adopted in Aarhus, Denmark, in June 1998 and signed by the European Community and 39 countries from all the subregions of UNECE. It entered into force in October 2001. The amendment on public participation in decisions on the deliberate release into the environment and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms was adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its second session, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 25 to 27 May 2005.
The Parties to the Convention are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Parties to the amendment on genetically modified organisms are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. The Parties to the Convention now include the vast majority of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, all the countries in the Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe, and all EU member States.
The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (Protocol on PRTRs) was adopted at an extraordinary meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention on 21 May 2003. Thirty-six member States and the European Community signed the Protocol in Kyiv. The Protocol entered into force on 8 October 2009. The Parties to the Protocol on PRTRs are: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and United Kingdom.
All agreements enter into force for a State on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the State’s instrument of ratification, at which point it becomes a Party.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
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