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Argentina Will Host the Second Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Escazú Agreement
The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 2) to the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean – known as the Escazú Agreement – will take place on April 19-21 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
So states the agreement made between José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) – which is the United Nations regional organization that serves as Secretariat of the Agreement – and Santiago Cafiero, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, effectuated via a signed accord that confirms that country as host of the COP 2. Both officials signed the accord last Saturday, March 25, in the framework of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in the Dominican Republic.
At the COP 2 of the Escazú Agreement, which is an extraordinary meeting, authorities and official representatives of the countries that are already part of the region’s first environmental treaty will elect the inaugural members of the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance of the treaty and will consider any other matter decided by the Parties. Furthermore, they will welcome the new States Parties incorporated since the COP 1: Belize, Chile and Grenada.
Prior to the gathering, the Agreement’s Presiding Officers – made up of Uruguay as Chair and Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Mexico and Saint Lucia as Vice-Chairs – prepared a roster of ten candidates for the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance, which will be presented on the second day of the conference (April 20). This roster is composed of five men and five women, of ten nationalities from the countries in Annex 1 of the Agreement. There are three representatives of Central America and Mexico, three from the English-speaking Caribbean and four from South America. From this roster, during the meeting in Buenos Aires, the COP will elect the seven people who will serve as the Committee’s members.
This in-person event will take place in the conference rooms of the Argentine capital’s Hotel Libertador, and will include a series of side events that will be exclusively virtual. It will be inaugurated on Wednesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. (local time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, UTC -3) at the Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK) by authorities from ECLAC, the Government of Argentina – the host country, which holds one of the vice-chairs on the Agreement’s Presiding Officers – and other high-level officials as well as representatives of the public.
On the second day of the conference (April 20), in addition to the Presiding Officers’ presentation of the roster of candidates for the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance, a Special Session will be held under the title of Comparative experiences of bodies to support implementation and compliance. Also, the Regional Dialogue: Strengthening capacities for national implementation will take place.
Meanwhile, on April 21, two Special Sessions will be carried out: one on follow-up to Decision I/6 on human rights defenders in environmental matters, and another on follow-up to Decision I/4 on financial arrangements and report of the Voluntary Fund. In addition, the election of the members of the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance will take place and the COP 2’s decisions will be adopted.
Numerous virtual official side events will be held on April 19-21 in the framework of the conference, the details of which will be available on the meeting’s website.
The holding of this second extraordinary meeting of the COP of the Escazú Agreement in Argentina was agreed upon in Decision I/5 of the “Decisions Adopted” document, approved at the end of the COP 1 held at ECLAC’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile in April 2022. The text indicates that the Conference of the Parties’ ordinary meetings will be held at least once every two years, unless the Parties decide otherwise, and “extraordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall be held when the Conference deems necessary, as provided in article 15.3 of the Agreement and rule III of the rules of procedure of the Conference.” The second ordinary meeting is due to be held in April 2024 in a State Party yet to be determined.
Thus far, the Escazú Agreement has been signed by 24 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and features 15 States Parties: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Grenada, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay.
The Agreement was adopted in Escazú, Costa Rica on March 4, 2018 and entered into force on April 22, 2021. The 24 countries that have signed it can proceed to deposit their instruments of ratification at any time at the United Nations central headquarters in New York. The countries that did not sign it within the first stipulated time frame (between September 27, 2018 and September 26, 2020) can become Parties through accession (a one-step procedure that necessitates no signature). The instruments of accession have the same legal requirements and effects as ratification.
The full programme of the COP 2 of the Escazú Agreement is available on the meeting’s special website: https://acuerdodeescazu.cepal.org/cop2/en
Journalists and other members of the press who want to cover this event in person are requested to register using this form: https://forms.gle/WGRg9rUUZf8MMba3A
Registration for participants (authorities, official delegations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, representatives of civil society, etc.) is separate from press registration and is also available on the event’s website.
What: Second meeting (extraordinary) of the Conference of the Parties to the Escazú Agreement (COP 2).
When: Wednesday, April 19 to Friday, April 21, 2023.
Where: Hotel Libertador, Avenida Cordoba 690, Buenos Aires 1054, Argentina.
Inauguration (Wednesday, April 19, 6 p.m.): Centro Cultural Kirchner, Sarmiento 151, C1041 CABA.
For queries related to journalistic coverage of this event, contact:
- In Santiago, Chile, ECLAC’s Public Information Unit. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040.