November 2023

Diplomats, stakeholders gear up for United Nations meeting to end plastic pollution

As part of its quiet diplomacy efforts, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva recently hosted 22 diplomats and other stakeholders to discuss strategies towards ending plastic pollution.

QUNO’s quiet diplomacy entails dialogue facilitation and gathers relevant stakeholders for off-the-record conversations that seek solutions to either conflicts or ongoing challenges in our focus areas. This gathering was jointly hosted by QUNO’s programme on Sustainable and Just Economic Systems (SJES) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) — as seen in the photograph with this article — on 31 October 2023.

Participants were from various national and international bodies and 12 attended in-person while 10 joined online. 

The atmosphere was dynamic and interactive as participants gathered at Quaker House under Chatham House Rules. This means they are all able to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of participants may be revealed, ensuring an open and honest dialogue.

Participants focused mainly on the upcoming third meeting of the United Nations-led Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which is working towards an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, including the marine environment. 

The upcoming INC meeting — also known as INC-3 — is scheduled for 13-19 November 2023 at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. SJES programme lead Andres Naranjo plans to attend this event, representing Quaker concerns at this global dialogue.

Participants at our quiet diplomacy dialogue are all actively involved in UNEP’s INC negotiations as well as World Trade Organisation (WTO) deliberations that focus on an essential solution: curbing subsidies that fuel virgin plastic production.

One participant reflected: “This meeting definitely met my expectations and expanded my understanding of the issue of subsidies in the negotiations.” 

This feedback highlights QUNO’s role in deepening the collective grasp of subsidy disciplines and its crucial place in the negotiation process.

QUNO regularly posts updates about ongoing global efforts towards a future free from plastic pollution.






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