05 June 2023

World Environment Day Celebration | Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution

To celebrate the 50th World Environment Day, under the theme "Solutions to Plastic Pollution," TESS Executive Director Carolyn Deere Birkbeck was delighted to moderate this high-level dialogue highlighting the efforts and progress in International Geneva to advance multilateral solutions to beating plastic pollution.

Since its first celebration in 1973, World Environment Day has been an occasion to raise awareness on environmental problems and to call for collaborative action across actors around the world. Fifty years later, plastic pollution has become a major contributor to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. With more than 430 million tonnes of plastic produced every year worldwide and predictions of annual production reaching up to 1,100 million tonnes by 2050, bold solutions are necessary.

At its resumed session of the fifth meeting in March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a landmark resolution to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, with the ambition to complete the negotiations by end of 2024. The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) was held in Paris at the end of May 2023.

Building on this momentum and on other milestones addressing plastics on the environmental agenda, this World Environment Day was celebrated under the theme "Solutions to Plastic Pollution" serving as an occasion to mobilize transformative action from every corner of the world.

Held immediately after the INC-2 negotiations in Paris, this dialogue reviewed outcomes from the intergovernmental process and discussed multilateralism in action, drawing together actors from across International Geneva. For the speakers and agenda, click here.

Speakers reviewed outcomes of recent negotiations, and the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues that kicked off at the end of 2020, providing concrete examples of how a diversity of actors and processes that occur in Geneva are strongly engaged in finding solutions to address this major crisis, including numerous international organizations (BRS COPs, SAICM ICCM5, UNEA-6, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Assembly, the International Labour Conference, the Human Rights Council), permanent missions of governments, NGOs, platforms, academic institutions, and business stakeholders.

World Environment Day Celebration | Multilateral Solutions to Beat Plastic Pollution

You can view this video of the high-level dialogue during the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day.

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