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Twenty-fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention, on site

28 - 29 October 2020

Tempus 2, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

1 - 3 July 2020 (virtual) and 28-29 October 2020 (on site), Geneva, Palais des Nations

Due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic it was not feasible to hold the twenty-fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention in Geneva on 1-3 July 2020 as was planned originally. The meeting will be held instead in two slots:

• Items of informational nature were considered in a virtual format on 1-3 July 2020 with no decision-making and
Items requiring decision-making will be considered at in-person/hybrid sessions on 28-29 October 2020 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations (kindly note that originally this slot was planned for 29-30 October 2020.

However, the slot had to be moved to 28-29 October 2020 due to availability of interpretation during these days).

A new Organisation of Work with the updated dates for the meeting is available in English French and Russian  (AC/WGP-24/Inf.13/Rev.1).

On-site/hybrid sessions on 28-29 October (any updates will be made available on this webpage)

The on-site/hybrid sessions on 28-29 October will focus only on:

• Two thematic sessions on access to justice and on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums and
• Items that are subject to decision-making, including the future work on access to information, public participation in decision-making, access to justice, promotion of the Convention and its principles etc, based on the Chairs’ notes and outcomes of the sessions held in July (these issues will be considered during the item on future work programme).

Participation
 
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions are in place worldwide.

• Participants from several countries outside the Schengen area are not allowed to enter the Swiss Confederation territory – please check this website for update: https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classified-compilation/20201773/index.html#app1.

• For participants from several countries from the Schengen area, different restrictions and quarantine rules are also in place and are changing – please check this website for update: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html#1918240392.

At the same time, this is an important meeting that foresees decision-making on a number of subjects. Delegations are therefore called to apply the following guidelines:

For Parties and other Member States

• If there are no travel restrictions between your country and Switzerland, arrange the travel and attend the meeting in person. If a national focal point has health conditions preventing from travel, nominate another representative to attend in person.

• If there are travel restrictions or another representative is also not able to attend, ensure participation of the representatives of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office at Geneva (see the Missions’ contacts: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/blue-book/missions/member-states). In this case, liaise with the country’s Mission on the statement/position to be delivered. In this regard, note that one of the key Permanent Missions’ role is to e.g. represent Member States at UN meetings when delegates are not able to travel to Geneva. This is, in particular, critical for Parties as to ensure proper procedures for decision-making. In addition, national focal points are requested to connect to the meeting virtually.

For NGOs

• If you are not able to travel due to above reasons, if feasible, delegate delivery of your statement to NGOs based in Switzerland. If this is not feasible, deliver the statement remotely - limited opportunity for delivering statements remotely will be provided.

For other stakeholders

• If you are not able to travel due to above reasons, if feasible, delegate the delivery of your statement to another entity based in Switzerland. If this is not feasible, deliver the statement remotely - limited opportunity for delivering statements remotely will be provided.

For Chairs of sessions and of subsidiary bodies

• The secretariat will liaise directly with Chairs of sessions and of subsidiary bodies on the arrangements.

For all participants attending in person

Please check all requirements regarding medical and other relevant insurance prior to the travel. Please be informed that any medical, quarantine or other possible expenses will be borne by your Organisation and/or insurance, as the United Nations do not take any responsibility for possible consequences of the present COVID-19 situation.

Please consult the information on COVID-19 for meeting participants at United nations Office in Geneva: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/covid-19

Registration for the sessions on 28-29 October

Deadline for registration with financial support: 20 September 2020
Deadline for registration without financial support: 10 October 2020

We would appreciate if you could register as early as possible in order to facilitate technical and other arrangements for the meeting.

UN Office at Geneva has a new system for online registration - INDICO. You are kindly requested to create a new meeting participant profile since the new database is not connected to the previous system. Please find the guidelines for registering through INDICO here. All participants are requested to register online through the following link: http://indico.un.org/e/aarhus_wgp_24

We recommend using Firefox or google chrome browser only for the online meeting registration. In case of difficulties you may refer to the enclosed guidelines for registering through INDICO or contact the secretariat (public.participation[at]un.org) directly.

Please ensure 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 “Yes” for visa required option and register for the meeting as early as possible, taking into account the period required to obtain the visa. When registering, please select participation type to indicate whether you plan to attend in-person or participate remotely. If you will not be in a position to attend the meeting in person at the end, please inform the secretariat at public.participation[at]un.org.

Financial support

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 20 September 2020 through the same link as above: http://indico.un.org/e/aarhus_wgp_24

Representatives of Governments should submit the completed financial support form to the secretariat by e-mail (public.participation@un.org), indicating in the subject line “Country name/organization – WGP-24 financial support request” before the same date – 20 September 2020. 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 and other participants requesting financial support are not required to submit the financial support request form, they should briefly describe in the comment box their expertise relevant to the subjects to be considered by the Working Group, while registering online before the same date – 20 September 2020.

Participants who are not applying for financial support are requested to register online before 10 October 2020 through the same link:  http://indico.un.org/e/aarhus_wgp_24

Practical information

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 

Information on onsite participation in the meeting room will be provided in due course.

Key dates to remember


Deadline for registration with financial support: 20 September 2020
Deadline for registration without financial support: 10 October 2020

For additional enquiries about the meeting, please contact the secretariat at public.participation@un.org (subject line: WGP-24 request)


Virtual sessions on 1-3 July

Virtual sessions on 1-3 July were carried out on the WebEx Meeting platform. During the virtual sessions the Working Group of the Parties considered items that would require only provision of information by the Chairs of subsidiary bodies and of the session on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums, the secretariat or other organizations. 
No decisions were taken during the virtual sessions except of adoption of the meeting’s organisation of work and of the agenda for virtual sessions. The sessions resulted only in draft outcomes that will be considered at in-person meeting in October. However:
• Parties and stakeholders were requested to submit written comments on documents that are subject to decision-making for the sessions in July as to progress with preparations and discussions at in-person meeting in October. In order to facilitate preparations, they were requested to submit the comments and the related statements as soon as possible before 24 June 2020.
• Parties and stakeholders could also submit written statements on items that are not subject to decision-making as to inform participants of any relevant developments.

Documents

Documents for the meeting are being uploaded on this webpage 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.

 


TitleENGFRERUS
New organisation of work (AC/WGP-24/Inf.13/Rev.1)PDFPDFPDF
Organisation of Work (AC/WGP-24/Inf.13)PDFPDFPDF
Provisional Agenda (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/1) PDFPDFPDF
Draft outcomes (AC/WGP-24/Inf.15)PDF
Item 3 (a)
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Access to Justice (AC/WGP-24/Inf.3)PDF
Item 3 (b)
Report of the Task Force on Access to Information on its sixth meeting (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/3) PDFPDFPDF
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Access to Information (AC/WGP-24/Inf.1)PDF
Draft updated Recommendations on the electronic information tools (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/14)

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

Addendum with supporting explanatory notes (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/14/Add.1) 

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

PDF

DOC

Accompanying document for the draft updated recommendations on the electronic information tools (AC/WGP-24/Inf.12)PDF
Item 3 (c) 
Note by the Chair of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making (AC/WGP-24/Inf.2)PDF
Item 3 (d)
Report on the third Joint Round Table on Public Awareness, Access to Information and Public Participation regarding Living Modified Organisms/Genetically Modified Organisms (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/6)PDFPDFPDF
Item 4 (a)
Membership of the Compliance Committee (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/9)PDFPDFPDF
Item 6
Report on the implementation of the work programme for 2018–2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/4) PDFPDFPDF
Report on contributions and expenditures in relation to the implementation of the Convention’s work programme for 2018-2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/5) PDFPDFPDF
Note on contributions and pledges received after 1 April 2020 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.14)PDF
Item 7 (a)
Draft elements of the work programme for 2022–2025 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/7) PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Accompanying document for Draft elements of the work programme for 2022–2025 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.11)  PDF
Draft note on a rapid response mechanism to deal with cases related to article 3 (8) of the Aarhus Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/13) PDFPDFPDF
Overview of existing mechanisms under other treaties and organisations that cover or may potentially cover rights of environmental defenders (AC/WGP-24/Inf.7)PDF
Item 7 (b) 
Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/11) PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Self-assessment of Parties regarding implementation of the Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.8)PDF
Accompanying document for Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (AC/WGP-24/Inf.9) PDF
Item 7 (c)
Expression of intention by Guinea-Bissau to accede to the Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/12) PDFPDFPDF
Item 7 (d)
Draft elements of possible financial arrangements under the Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/8) PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Accompanying document for draft elements of possible financial arrangements (AC/WGP-24/Inf.10)PDF
Item 7 (e)  
Draft elements of the provisional agenda of the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2020/10) PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
PDF
DOC
Item 8
Note by the Chair of the thematic session on public participation in international forums (AC/WGP-24/Inf.4)PDF

 

 

TitleENGFRERUS
Statements and comments by EU and its Member States
Agenda items: 1, 3 (a,b,c,d), 4 (a,b,c), 5, 6, 7 (c,e,f)PDF
Agenda item 7 (a): Future work programmePDF
Agenda item 7 (b): Future strategic planPDF
Agenda item 7 (d): Future financial arrangementsPDF
Item 3 (a): Access to Justice
Report by the Chair  PDF
NorwayPDF
Client EarthPDF
European ECO ForumPDF
Item 3 (b): Access to Information
Report by the ChairPDF
NorwayPDF
European ECO ForumPDF
PDF
Item 3 (c): Public Participation in decision-making
NorwayPDF
European ECO ForumPDF
PDF
The Consultation InstitutePDF
Journalists for Human RightsPDF
Item 3 (d): Genetically modified organisms
European ECO forumPDF
Item 4 (a): Compliance mechanism
NorwayPDF
Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance CommitteePDF
European ECO ForumPDF
Item 4 (b): Reporting mechanism
2021 Reporting Cycle - Practical ConsiderationsPDF
PPT
Item 4 (c): Capacity building and awareness-raising
OSCEPDF
Item 5: Promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages
OHCHRPDF
UNEPPDF
European ECO ForumPDF
PDF
Item 6: Implementation of the work programme for 2018–2021, including financial matters
NorwayPDF
European ECO ForumPDF
Item 7: Preparations for the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties
Irish Environmental NetworkPDF
Item 7 (c): Accession by States from outside the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe region
Guinea-BissauPDF
Item 7 (d):Future financial arrangements
NorwayPDF
Item 7 (f)
Hosting of the seventh session of the Meeting of the PartiesPDF
Item 8: Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums (for statements see tab "PPIF session")

 

 

 

TitleENGFRERUS
Item 8: Promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums
Provisional ProgrammePDF
Statements
European ECO ForumPDF
European ECO Forum/Irish Environmental NetworkPDF
European ECO Forum/CIELPDF
European ECO Forum supplementary oral statement PDF
Submitted by ICSA to 23d meeting of the Working Group of the Parties
Letter from the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) to the Chair of the thematic session on public participation in international forumsPDF
Note by the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)PDF
Statement by International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)PDF

TitleENGFRERUS
Item 3 (a): Access to Justice
Provisional programme (AC/WGP-24/Inf.5)PDF