On October 16-17, the Dominican Republic hosted the Latin American and Caribbean meeting in preparation for the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including the marine environment (INC-3).
The regional meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean group (GRULAC), which took place at the Convention Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to support governments in preparing the regional position for this ambitious negotiation process.
On behalf of Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez, the Vice Minister for Dominican Communities Abroad, Carlos de la Mota, said that “we must continue to advocate for measures that result in sustainable consumption and production patterns, defend an approach based on human rights, transparency, access to information and collaboration between governments, academia, industry and civil society”.
He also emphasized that, although we are aiming for a robust agreement, it must correspond to the reality of countries such as those that make up GRULAC and achieve a fair agreement that guarantees a gradual and economically viable transformation.
The Vice Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, José Reyes, emphasized that the position as an island state makes countries like the Dominican Republic particularly vulnerable to the impacts derived from plastic pollution. “For this reason, we advocate common but differentiated responsibilities, as well as openness to financing and technology transfer,” he added.
In addition to the two deputy ministers, the opening ceremony of this meeting was led by the director of Science, Technology and Environment of MIREX, Claudia Taboada; Jyoti Mathur-Philip, virtually; the regional coordinator for GRULAC-INC, Valentina Sierra; and Brenda Koekkoek, senior program manager, INC Secretariat.
From the region, delegates from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela were present; in virtual mode, Barbados.
Representatives of some 20 organizations from different sectors also participated as observers, who expressed their positions and contributions to enrich the discussion process during the first agenda items.
On the negotiations
The INC began its work during the second half of 2022, with the ambition of completing the negotiations by the end of 2024. The first session of the INC (INC-1) took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 28 November to 2 December 2022, followed by a second session (INC-2), in Paris, France, from 29 May to 2 June 2023. The third session (INC-3) is now scheduled for November 13-19, 2023 at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.