Press Release

Board View

UN Plastic Pollution Treaty Convening of the 3rd Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3)

▷Announcement of plans to host INC-5 in Busan in 2024 (November 25 - December 1)

The 3rd Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC*-3) was held at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, from November 13 to 19, to discuss international treaties for addressing plastic pollution. 

* Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment

※ Background of treaty promotion: The proposal for an international treaty was adopted at the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) from February 28 to March 2, 2022. Through a total of five meetings of the INC, the aim was to set goals for a legally binding treaty. 

The government delegation from Korea, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, along with government representatives from approximately 160 countries worldwide and stakeholders, totaling about 2,500 people, participated in this INC. 

※ Chief Representative: Cho Hong-sik, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Alternate Chief Representative: Lee Chang-heum, Director of Climate Change and Carbon Neutral Policy Office, Ministry of Environment

This meeting discussed the specific details of the treaty based on the zero draft prepared by the INC Secretariat of the UNEP, taking into account the results of the 1st and 2nd INC meetings. The negotiating delegations agreed on the need for scientific evidence-based work to identify sources of pollution as part of addressing plastic pollution. They also decided to address more specific regulations and key obligations not only in the main text of the treaty but also in annexes to provide additional coverage. Furthermore, there was also an opinion raised that the newly established plastic treaty should not conflict with existing environmental agreements. 

The Korean government delegation emphasized the need for a transition to a circular economy, preventive measures against plastic pollution based on scientific evidence, and the development of national implementation plans taking into consideration the practical implementation in each country.

Meanwhile, during the same period, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change Cho Hong-sik and Director of Climate Change and Carbon Neutral Policy Office Lee Chang-heum held bilateral discussions with delegations from countries such as the United States, Germany, Japan, and Canada to each country’s position on the regulation of plastic and the treaty. In addition, Ambassador Cho had a meeting with UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and UNEP INC Secretariat Director Jyoti Mathur Filipp. During the meeting, Executive Director Andersen expressed her gratitude for not being able to attend the 5th INC in person and expressed her hope for close collaboration with the South Korean government to ensure the successful convening of the 5th INC. Ambassador Cho also had a meeting with Musonda Mumba, the Executive Secretary of the Ramsar Convention, and agreed to continue collaborating closely to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetland resources.

On November 19 at INC-3, Ambassador Cho Hong-sik announced that the 5th Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-5) will be held in Busan from November 25 to December 1, 2024. The hosting city and dates for INC-5 have been ed by the consensus of the negotiating countries. The Korean government plans to successfully host the final negotiating meeting INC-5 in Korea to contribute to the establishment of international norms in the environmental sector, leading the way in eradicating plastic pollution and transitioning to a circular economy. We will do our best to fulfill our role as a global hub nation.

The next meeting, INC-4, is scheduled to be held in Ottawa, Canada from April 22 to 30, 2024. 

Attachment: Key Points Discussed During the INC-3 of the UN Plastic Agreement

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina