News - News

18 April 2024

TESS Issues Statement at WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution Meeting

TESS was pleased to contribute to the WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution (DPP) Pre-Plenary meeting on 12 April 2024. At the meeting, we provided comments on the ministerial statement issued at the Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) as well as the DPP work plan for 2024 and presented key findings from our policy brief on options for trade-related cooperation on problematic and avoidable plastics.

At this first DPP meeting since MC13, we welcomed the MC13 Ministerial Statement as a clear signal of members` intent to further build on the excellent collective work and outcomes achieved since the launch of the Dialogue. The statement is a testament to the hard work of co-convenors and members to keep their eye on the goal of doing something effective and meaningful at the WTO and to have a concrete impact on plastic pollution on the ground, while also recognizing the complex set of challenges at hand.

We commended the statement for making clear that the DPP process intends to both complement and contribute to the INC process on an international legally binding instrument without prejudging it.

Additionally, we welcomed the intention of DPP members, noted in the Ministerial Statement and in the 2024 work plan, to advance further technical discussions and make progress towards concrete, pragmatic, and effective outcomes on these actions and understandings at the latest by MC14. We noted that in order to realize this commitment, it will be vital that the format, agenda of meetings, questions for discussion, presentations, and other work under the three workstreams as set out in the work plan are designed specifically to foster such outcomes. Finally, we welcomed the reference in the statement that the DPP factual compilation with actions, policies, and measures attached to the MC13 statement will continue to be updated periodically. We expressed the hope the that factual compilation will reflect new and concrete initiatives and actions that DPP members can agree to pursue and act upon individually or collectively leading up to MC14.

In our presentation drawing on key findings from our policy paper on Options for trade-related cooperation on problematic and avoidable plastics: building on existing experiences with single-use plastics, we introduced examples of specific options for action and trade-related cooperation on single-use plastics that could be pursued at the WTO and DPP.

The meeting welcomed Argentina, Mongolia, and North Macedonia as new members of the Dialogue, bringing the number of co-sponsors to 79.

You can read a WTO news item summarizing the DPP pre-plenary and also download the MC13 Ministerial Statement and the attached list of compilations as well as the 2024 work plan.

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.