Fighting for Plastic-Free Seas: AOSIS Statement at INC4

April 29, 2024 Download PDF

Topic: Oceans

Closing Statement by Samoa on behalf of the 39 Small Island Developing States at the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.

29 April, 2024

Mr Chair,

On behalf of the small island developing states, we thank you for your guidance and leadership in this INC process. We also take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to the co-chairs, the co-facilitators and the Secretariat who helped support the development of our outcomes here at INC-4.
Special thanks also to the Government of Canada for hosting INC-4.

INC-4 was a critical juncture in this process – Following INC-3, members were faced with a comprehensive and robust revised draft text representative of the views and positions expressed on the various elements of the instrument; with no formal mandate for intersessional work; and an ambitious goal to complete our work by the end of 2024.

Mr Chair, under your stewardship we were provided opportunities to exchange views on the organisation of our work, as well as some of the key issues and priorities in anticipation of INC-4, during the informal Heads of Delegations meetings. We then convened here in Ottawa with no time to waste, no effort to spare and a readiness and willingness to advance our negotiations.
To this end, we are pleased to conclude this session with a formal mandate for intersessional work, and progress in textual negotiations on some key parts of streamlined text.

However, while we have made some progress, there remains much more work to be done. We look to the intersessional work programme ahead of INC-5 as the first step of many in discussing some of this remaining work. On this note, we take this opportunity to emphasise the need for timely and clear instructions on any programme of activities for INC-5, as well as the organisation of work.
Mr Chair, we have merely a matter of days left to finalise an ambitious, effective and equitable international legally binding Instrument that addresses a full life-cycle approach to end plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. With INC-5 as our final session in this process, we encourage additional opportunities for members to engage on key areas of the future instrument with the goal of building convergence, developing common understandings, and ultimately, advancing the text before us.

One of these key areas is our objective to ensure the agreement is supported by new, additional, adequate, and predictable means of implementation. This must include a robust financial mechanism, which advances just transition and provides specific support provisions for SIDS, including priority access to fast tracked resources, technology transfer, technical assistance and capacity building.

In line with established precedent in existing multilateral environmental agreements, this agreement must fully take into account, both in its design and implementation, the special circumstances of SIDS and our unique vulnerabilities to this issue, like other environmental challenges that we are disproportionately affected by, but contribute minimally to.

Small islands in plastic oceans is a reality we simply refuse to accept.

We call upon colleagues to utilize our time efficiently to reach convergence on key elements that would drive meaningful progress on the road to Busan.

I thank you.

Sub Topic: Marine Plastic Pollution