24th May 2022
Excellencies, dear colleagues,
Good Morning and welcome to this second regular meeting of IDP in 2022.
First of all, let me thank DDG Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam, the Secretariat and all members and stakeholders for your participation and contribution.
Today’s plenary meeting is a good opportunity for the IDP to review its progress. Since our issuance of the IDP Ministerial Statement back at the end of last year, the IDP has become a down-to-earth platform on which all interested WTO members and stakeholders actively participate in the discussions towards the implementation of the Ministerial Statement. In our discussions, we heard specific proposals on Aid for Trade priorities, survey of Trade-related Plastics Measures, and workshop on Sustainable and Effective Plastics Substitutes and Alternatives. We also heard calls for intensified work to enhance cooperation with international processes including UNEA, BRS, WCO and the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, among others. If you look at the agenda of this meeting, you will see that we are working together to translate proposals into concrete actions.
I have to say, despite all the challenges, the IDP has maintained good momentum. We commend all interested WTO members on their contributions, and welcome new members continually joining the IDP. I welcome the support of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who will declare their cosponsoring IDP today. The IDP cosponsors are representing a broad diversity of the WTO’s membership, from some of the smallest to largest members and from all regions — all of us can play a role in addressing the issue of plastics pollution. We are also grateful to the WTO Secretariat and the range of stakeholder who are contributing to this process. Your input and expertise are vital to help us understand issues and options, and to connect our work here to that underway in other international processes.
Looking ahead, IDP should make its own contributions to the MC12. Coordinators are working on a statement at MC12 to provide an update on our work thus far, including some early outcomes. We hope that during MC12 we can co-host a press briefing on IDP, involving Ministers to reaffirm our commitment to work on this topic and provide clear guidance for the future work in Geneva.
Today’s meeting is also a good opportunity for all interested WTO members and stakeholders to share your perspectives and suggestions on the IDP after MC12. We could aim to identify priorities and actions for boosting capacity building. We could promote transparency of trade flows, including through cooperation with the WCO; and improve our understanding of trade policy actions taken by members and the challenges/opportunities that arise.
Since the issuance of the Ministerial Statement we note how work has advanced well not only at the WTO , but also at other forums, like UNEA–with the launch of negotiations in March; at WCO–with concrete discussions on a proposal to better identify plastics wastes; and at the BRS, with preparations for their upcoming COP (Meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions) concurrent with the MC12. Following all those efforts, especially the UNEA resolution to launch negotiations on a new treaty on plastics pollution, we believe our work here at the WTO is even more important than ever. The IDP can be guided by and support the goals of the treaty, and our work can help to identify challenges and opportunities on the trade and value chains side that can inform other international processes, including the treaty negotiations.
It is often said that we need “all hands on deck” to solve the many aspects of plastics pollution across the life cycle of plastics. — and here at the WTO through the work of the IDP we have an opportunity to do our part.
Thank you for your attention.