Press Release

Board View

UN Plastic Pollution Treaty Convening of the 4th Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4)

▷ Global unity emphasized to finalize agreement within the year 

The 4th Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC*-4) for the UN Plastic Pollution Treaty, started on April 23 (Tuesday) in Ottawa, Canada, ended at 2 a.m. local time on April 30, exceeding its original closing date of April 29.

※ Background of Treaty Promotion: A resolution** on advancing an international agreement was adopted at the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) from February 28 to March 2, 2022. It set the goal of achieving a legally binding agreement by 2024 through a total of five Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) meetings.

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

** UNEA Resolution 5/14: “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument”

This INC included representatives from various ministries of the South Korean government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Environment (ME), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), as well as representatives from over 170 United Nations member states and stakeholders, totaling approximately 3,000 participants. 

※ Chief Representative: Kim Hyo-eun, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change from MOFA / Alternate Chief Representative: Lee Chang-heum, Deputy Minister of the Climate Change and Carbon Neutral Policy Office from ME

The Korean government delegation, hosting the final negotiating meeting, INC-5 (November 25 - December 1, 2024, Busan, Korea), provided updates on preparations and urged the international community to cooperate in adopting the treaty. Furthermore, it underscored the need for effective institutional mechanisms rooted in scientific approaches to implement the treaty across the entire lifecycle of plastic.

At INC-4, discussions were primarily focused on simplifying the text of the agreement regarding regulatory targets and methods for preventing plastic pollution, as well as means of implementation, based on the revised draft text* prepared by the UNEP INC Secretariat in accordance with the results of the INC-3 meeting. However, discussions ended at the level of reco.nfirming the positions of participating countries on contentious issues. 

* The docu.ment spans 69 pages and includes extensive options for each clause along with the positions of individual countries.

In particular, participating countries empathized with the multitude of contentious issues that need to be resolved to finalize the UN Plastic Pollution Treaty at INC-5. After lengthy discussions, participants agreed to conduct interim work through expert groups between INC-4 and INC-5. During this interim period, experts will discuss essential definitions and criteria for selecting regulatory targets in the scientific and technical fields related to the treaty. In addition, legal drafting responsibilities have been delegated to a legal drafting group for expedited legal review of future drafts. 

During this meeting, countries made statements regarding the selection of the venue for the diplomatic conference where the signing of the treaty after INC-5 will take place. Rwanda-Peru (joint hosts), Ecuador, Senegal, and others requested support for their respective candidacies. 

On this occasion, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change Kim Hyo-eun and Deputy Minister of the Climate Change and Carbon Neutral Policy Office Lee Chang-heum met with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen, the Minister of Ecological Transition of France Christophe Bechu, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada Steven Guilbeault, domestic and international environmental organizations, etc. They agreed to collaborate for the success of the treaty at INC-5, to be held in Busan, Korea.

The Korean government will actively contribute to the establishment of international norms in the environmental sector for the eradication of plastic pollution, hosting the final negotiation meeting, INC-5, successfully in Korea as a global hub country. End.

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina