The Principality of Monaco participated in the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution, which took place in Geneva on September 1 and 2, 2021.

Germany, Ecuador, Ghana and Vietnam have joined forces to organize, with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a Ministerial Conference on Plastic Pollution and Marine Litter to be held in a hybrid format in Geneva on September 1-2, 2021, at the WTO.

This conference is intended to provide political support for the idea of an international agreement on plastic pollution and marine litter, in preparation for discussions at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi in February 2022.

One figure gives the measure of the challenge : every minute, the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic waste is spilled into the oceans. In one century, plastic has become the 3rd most manufactured material in the world, after cement and steel. Nearly 80% of the plastic produced becomes waste after one year and is a vector of catastrophic pollution. 1.4 million birds and 14,000 marine mammals are found dead each year due to the ingestion of plastics. In addition to this visible pollution, there is an invisible pollution linked to microplastics of less than 5 millimeters, which constitute a threat to biodiversity, ecosystems and human health.

The urgency of the fight against plastic pollution is tangible and its consequences on ecosystems, biodiversity and human health, as well as its synergies with climate action, make it a systemic issue with numerous sectoral, political, economic and social ramifications.

The organization of this conference under the auspices of UNEP and on the premises of the WTO demonstrates the will to engage the most concerned actors in the negotiation of a binding agreement to fight plastic pollution and to strengthen environmental multilateralism.

The level of participation is indicative of the momentum : 1103 participants were registered, including 623 state representatives, and 480 non-state actors, notably NGOs and companies, which demonstrate the awareness of the need to adopt a global instrument to fight against a worldwide problem.

A group of countries has taken the initiative to prepare a draft resolution paving the way for the negotiation of an international agreement including binding provisions. The text will be transmitted to all member states in September 2021.

Monaco committed to the fight against plastic

In 2016, the Princely Government established a Monaco Waste Prevention and Management Plan, for the implementation of a “Zero single-use plastic waste by 2030” policy.

Monaco has also signed the Ocean Plastics Charter, which brings together the main governments, businesses and civil society organizations. The signatory countries thus commit to recycle and reuse at least 55% of their plastic packaging by 2030.

It was also in Monaco that the Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) initiative was born in 2015. It is the result of a partnership between the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Tara Océan Foundation, the European Surfrider Foundation and the Mava Foundation. Its mission is to support innovative and citizen-friendly solutions, and to influence political and legislative decisions in order to stop plastic pollution in the Mediterranean.

During the conference on September 1-2 in Geneva, the Professor Alain Piquemal, Permanent Representative of the Principality to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) expressed the Principality’s position in favor of a comprehensive multilateral solution to the problem of plastic pollution and its wish to see negotiations open in this direction, in the context of the next session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, to be held from February 28 to March 2, 2022, in Nairobi (Kenya).

Source: Direction de la Communication du Gouvernement Princier de la Principauté de Monaco, Monaco Now, LegiFrance