A NEW TREATY ON PLASTIC POLLUTION, PERSPECTIVES FROM ASIA
Marine plastic pollution is a global challenge that needs a coordinated response at international level. The topic has been on the agenda of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) since its first session in 2014. Over the last years, in-depth discussions have been facilitated via the ad hoc open-ended expert working group on marine litter and microplastics (AHEG), which was established in 2017 and concluded its work in 2020. The Chair’s summary, in line with the increasing calls for a global plastic pollution treaty, listed a new global instrument as one possible option for continued work for consideration at UNEA 5.2 in February 2022. By the end of September 2021, 80 countries around the world have joined the call for a new legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution by endorsing the ‘Ocean Day Plastic Pollution Declaration’. According to a count by WWF, more than two thirds of the UN member states have by now expressed their support for a new global agreement via different fora. In September 2021, a ministerial conference dedicated to marine litter and plastic pollution was held, hosted by Ecuador, Germany, Ghana and Viet Nam, and supported by UNEP. During the meeting, delegates discussed a ministerial statement recommending to start the negotiation of a new global agreement.
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