News - News

01 February 2024

TESS Issues Statement at WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution Plenary Meeting

TESS was pleased to contribute to the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution (DPP) Plenary meeting on 26 January 2024. At the meeting, we provided comments on the finalized text of a ministerial statement for the Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13).

In our comments, we expressed the view that the finalized revised ministerial statement for MC13 and the factual list of compilations attached to the statement are a very positive step forward. The statement represents a positive spirit of compromise, reflecting both the ambition and political will to work together as well as a balance of the views of all DPP members and inputs provided by stakeholders.

The proposed ministerial statement is an illustration of how the DPP process can complement and contribute to the INC process on an international legally binding instrument without prejudging it. We welcomed the statement’s reference to the UNEA resolution`s call “to continue and step-up activities, and adopt voluntary measures, to combat plastic pollution” while the INC negotiations are underway and noted that the DPP is one of the venues through which this can happen.

Discussions within the DPP provide opportunities for WTO members to show how it is possible to advance trade-related action and cooperation in ways that are ambitious and address wider sustainable development concerns, including those from developing countries, and to advance concrete outcomes.

Looking ahead, TESS welcomes the intention of DPP members, noted in the ministerial statement, to work to update a workplan in the months following MC13 and to look for further concrete, pragmatic, and effective outcomes on these actions and understandings at the latest by MC14. As the post-MC13 workplan is developed, TESS encourages members to include focused discussions on topics or issues that may be of particular interest to developing countries, including least developed countries and small-island developing states.

As suggested in a previous TESS statement at the DPP, we also propose that it would send a valuable signal if, alongside the ministerial statement at MC13, a number of DPP members seized MC13 as an occasion to highlight specific trade-related actions and cooperation to tackle plastic pollution that they are taking or considering individually or together with other members.

You can read a WTO news item summarizing the DPP plenary and also download the finalized revised ministerial statement for MC13 and the attached list of compilations that were 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.