Executive Secretary - 40th GEF Council Meeting - May 2011

Statement by Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, to the 40th GEF Council Meeting 

Washington DC, USA, 24 May 2011 

Madame Chairman, Madam CEO, Council members, ladies and gentlemen. 

The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention took place from 24-29 April 2011 in Geneva and adopted many decisions of relevance to the work the GEF. 

At the same time, the Stockholm Convention COP reaffirmed the importance that the international community places on the synergy process among the three chemicals and waste conventions and it is in the spirit of synergies that I would like to invite you to participate in the upcoming COP of the Rotterdam Convention on 20-24 June 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland and to COP of the Basel Convention on 17 to 21 October 2011 in Cartagena, Colombia. 

Before I will now provide a brief overview on the key outcomes of COP-5 of the Stockholm Convention, I would like to express my gratitude to the CEO for her welcoming opening remarks. 

In the interest of time, I will forgo noting every instance where the COP invited the GEF to provide financing for a specific activity, but the Stockholm Secretariat will work closely with the GEF secretariat to ensure that a concise summary is provided. Rather, I will focus on the key substantive outcomes that may be of interest to council members. 

In the first part of my statement, I will focus on key issues of direct relevance to the financial mechanism. In the second part of my presentation, I will provide more information on those decisions taken in the programme areas that have been specifically mentioned in the decision on additional guidance to the financial mechanism and thus should be of particular interest to the GEF Council. 

The first topic I would like to address is the assessment of the funding needed by developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to implement the Convention over the period 2015–2019. With regard to the timing of the assessment, the COP has decided to undertake the assessment of funding needs beginning in 2012 and then every four years starting at COP-6. 

Focusing on the collection of baseline and agreed full incremental costs, the actual needs assessment will also include updated information for the period 2010 2014. The COP requested in this regard that any such updated information should be used as input to the third review of the financial mechanism. The COP also underlined that ongoing needs identified in previous needs assessments should be included in the 2015–2019 needs assessment. 

With regard to the continuous evaluation of the methodology used, the COP has invited the GEF and relevant international and non-governmental organizations to provide information on their views of and experiences in applying the needs assessment methodology. 

Following the practice adopted at previous meetings of the COP, the Secretariat has also been requested to prepare a report reviewing the availability of financial resources additional to those provided through the GEF and ways and means of mobilizing and channelling those resources. 

With regard to the MoU between the COP and the GEF Council, the COP took note of the report of the Secretariat on the effectiveness of the implementation of the MoU and requested the Secretariat to prepare a new such report for COP-6. In this regard, the COP also welcomed the report of the GEF to COP-5.

On the topic of the review of the financial mechanism of the Convention, the COP adopted terms of reference and decided to undertake the 3rd review in 2012 for consideration at COP-6. 

Regarding the facilitating of the work of the COP with regard to financial resources and mechanisms, the COP noted the consultative process on financing options on chemicals and wastes, which was first announced by UNEP’s Executive Director at COP-4, and decided to continue exploring options for facilitating work on financial resources and mechanisms, including the option of a financial mechanism committee. 

In order to advance this topic, the COP requested the Executive Secretary to undertake consultations with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties with the objective of supporting discussions on finance-related issues during regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties and to take into account the outcomes of the Consultative Process in his consultations. 

Last but not least, the COP decided to amend the current procedure of providing guidance to the financial mechanism and requested the Secretariat to prepare consolidated guidance for consideration at COP6. This set of consolidated guidance would then be updated every four years starting from COP-6 and would serve as an input to the negotiations on the replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund. 

These were the five key topics with direct relevance to the financial mechanism. I will now move to those decisions in the respective programme areas that carry implications for the operations of the financial mechanism. 

For the DDT thematic area, the COP decided to continue evaluating the need for DDT for disease vector control on the basis of scientific, technical, environmental and economic information, including that provided by the DDT expert group and POPRC, and to accelerate the identification/development of locally appropriate cost effective and safe alternatives. UNEP, in collaboration with WHO, was invited to take over the administration and implementation of the DDT global alliance on alternatives to DDT. 

With regard to PCB activities, the COP invited UNEP to take over the administration and implementation of the PCB elimination network, together with the relevant IOMC member organizations and the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres and decided to undertake at its seventh meeting a review of the progress towards the elimination of PCBs. 

Regarding the listing of new chemicals in Annex A, B or C of the Convention, the COP agreed to list endosulfan and its related isomers in Annex A with specific exemptions for production and/or for use on crop-pest complexes and decided on a work programme on the development and deployment of alternatives to endosulfan as well as on listed PBDEs and PFOS chemicals. 

In the area of unintentional releases of POPs and BAT/BEP, the COP agreed to a procedure for updating the guidelines and guidance on BAT/BEP and requested the Secretariat to support the continuing review and updating of these guidelines and guidance as well as the Toolkit. 

Moreover, the COP adopted seven new Stockholm Convention Regional Centres. While three of the seven Centres in India, Kenya and South Africa have been newly nominated at COP-5, the other four centres in Algeria, Iran, Russia and Senegal were already nominated at COP-4. Taking into account the recent GEF reforms and broadening the GEF partnership under paragraph 28 of the GEF Instrument, the GEF Council may wish to take into consideration the possibility of Stockholm Convention Regional Centres serving as GEF Project Agencies. 

On the topic of effectiveness evaluation, the COP requested the Secretariat to collect and compile the information outlined in the proposed framework and to use the elements and indicators set forth therein to prepare a report for consideration by COP-6. 

On the Global Monitoring Programme, the COP agreed to the continued revision and updating of the GMP guidance and took note of the recent study on the impacts of climate change on POPs and policy options for climate change and POPs. The COP encouraged Parties to engage actively in the implementation of the global monitoring plan and the effectiveness evaluation and to continue monitoring of core media, e.g., air, human breast milk and human blood, and to initiate monitoring of PFOS in surface water in support of future evaluations. 

In the area of technical assistance, the COP requested the secretariat to continue to implement its technical assistance programme and to prepare a report on progress in the application of the guidance on technical assistance and transfer of environmentally sound technology, including an analysis of obstacles and barriers to accessing technical assistance and technology transfer and recommendations on how to overcome them. The COP also requested Stockholm Convention regional centres to develop and regularly update a list of technologies available to be transferred to developing-country parties and parties with economies in transition. 

On the topic of national implementation plans, the COP requested the secretariat to prepare a revised version of the social and economic guidance as well as a revised version of the additional guidance on the calculation of action plan costs and a report on the feasibility of updating NIPs to include new POPs. 

To bring my presentation to a close, I would not like to miss the opportunity to provide you with the key outcomes of the synergy decisions. 

The COP approved the proposed cross-cutting and joint activities for inclusion in the programmes of work of the three secretariats for 2012–2013 and authorized the Executive Secretary to determine the staffing levels, numbers and structure of the secretariat in a flexible manner, provided that he remains within the ceiling established by the decision on financing and budget for the biennium 2012–2013. 

In the regard, the COP requested the Executive Secretary to prepare, by 31 December 2011 and in consultation with parties through the bureaux, a proposal for the organization of the secretariats, including staffing levels, numbers and structure, to be implemented by 31 December 2012. 

The COP also adopted the terms of reference for the reports pertaining to the review of arrangements pursuant to the synergies decisions and decided to convene in 2013, subject to the submission of the reports on the review and taking into account comments made by parties on the matter, back-to-back with and at the same venue as an ordinary meeting of the COP of one of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, extraordinary meetings of the three conferences of the Parties simultaneously. 

These simultaneous meetings would consider draft decisions on the review of arrangements adopted pursuant to the synergies decisions; the proposal for the organization for the secretariats; draft proposals for joint activities for 2014-2015; budget related to joint activities and possible necessary amendments to the budget of the three conventions for the biennium 2014-2015; and the outcome of the Consultative Process on Financing Options for Chemicals and Wastes.

 Thank you, Madame Chairman, for this opportunity to speak.

40th GEF Council Meeting

Washington, D.C. USA, 24 - 26 May 2011