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25 September 2023

TESS Issues Statement at WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution Meeting

TESS was pleased to contribute to the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution (DPP) pre-plenary meeting on 21 September. At the meeting, TESS provided comments on the first draft of a potential statement for the Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13).

In our comments, we emphasized that the Ministerial Statement will be successful if it catalyses and captures commitments to concrete action, provides direction for future work, signals momentum, and illustrates the capacity for cooperation on trade and trade policy at the WTO to respond to urgent global challenges.

Looking ahead, key elements that we deem vital as DPP members consider a next iteration of the draft is to ensure that the statement:

  • Maintains the balance of topics in the MC12 statement;
  • Reflects recognition of the impacts of plastic pollution on developing countries and the specific impacts on vulnerable economies and small island developing states;
  • Maintains emphasis of protecting human health as well as the environment, which reflects developments in the plastics treaty process;
  • Continues to be underpinned by environmental credibility;
  • Continues to support the ambition and direction of the plastics treaty discussions as well as developments in other relevant international agreements, such as the Basel Convention.

For the next draft, we further urged DPP members to add specific language on follow up action, including reference to a roadmap for future work and the broad contours of potential goals, deliverables, and outcomes for MC14.

The Pre-Plenary meeting was also an opportunity to provide comments on the proposed annexes to the MC13 statement. Here we encouraged members to be ambitious in populating the annexes in the next iteration of the draft statement and provided some specific examples of this increased ambition.

You can read a WTO news item summarizing the DPP meeting and also download the first draft of the possible MC13 statement that was discussed at the meeting.

We encourage you to read our statement in full.

TESS at the World Trade Organization

This work is part of our initiative supporting inclusive cooperation on trade, environment, and sustainable development at the WTO.