NAIROBI, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3), tasked with developing a legally binding global treaty to address plastic pollution, opened in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday.
Over 2,000 representatives from governments, civil society, industry and academia are attending the seven-day meeting. They will discuss the Zero draft text, which forms the basis for establishing a global treaty to enhance action against plastic litter that is causing harm to terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
In his opening remarks, Kenyan President William Ruto said that plastic pollution remains an existential threat to a just transition as well as human and planetary health, noting that a legally binding treaty could offer some relief.
Ruto said ending plastic pollution from the source to the end users will ensure a just and green transition for humanity, promote ecological health and revitalize the growth of the circular economy.
The Kenya meeting follows previous sessions held in Uruguay in 2022, and Paris earlier this year.
The negotiations for a global plastic treaty stem from the adoption of a landmark resolution at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi in February 2022.
Discussions on the contents of the Zero draft, which was agreed upon at INC-2, will dominate this week's meeting, aiming to expedite the process of establishing a legally binding global treaty to combat plastic pollution by 2024.
Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Cuadra Velasquez, the INC chairperson, said that the transnational nature of plastic pollution necessitates the creation of an international legally binding instrument to address the challenge. He highlighted the need for legal interventions to support efforts to eliminate plastic pollution that harms wildlife sanctuaries, oceans and freshwater bodies.
Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said that a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution, once adopted, will enhance global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and expedite the transition from a linear to a circular economy. ■