The eighth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Information will be held in Geneva on 9 - 10 November 2023 starting at 9.30 a.m.
The Task Force will feature an international workshop “Advancing public access to environment-related product information: challenges and opportunities” (see tab below) that will be organized in cooperation with partner programmes and organizations. The workshop will consider challenges and opportunities in advancing public access to environment-related product information, including legal and policy developments, the use of product passports and other digital tools, means to encourage operators to inform the public and measures against greenwashing. The workshop will provide an opportunity to share experiences of public authorities, civil society, private sector, academia, international organisations and other stakeholders in this area.
Furthermore, the meeting of the Task Force will promote the exchange of case studies, good practices and challenges and consider recent and upcoming developments in relation to strengthening public access to environmental information. In particular, the Task Force will discuss (a) the scope of environmental information in accordance with article 2 (3) of the Convention; (b) access to information on emissions into the environment; and (c) the provision of information to the public authorities by third parties both routinely and in case of an imminent threat to human health or the environment. The Task Force is also expected to take stock of the use of the updated Recommendations on electronic information tools and activities of other relevant international forums.
Organization of work
The meeting will be held in an in-person format. At the same time, there will be opportunity to connect to the meeting remotely without speaking possibility; the link to the Zoom platform will be sent to the registered participants shortly before the meeting. Interpretation in English, French and Russian will be provided. Interpretation for remote statements will be available only for 30 min per 3 h and it is reserved for the invited speakers only who cannot attend for serious reasons. As for all UN public meetings, not registered participants can also connect to the meeting through audio means: https://listen-live.unog.ch/en/index.html
The organization of work will be as follows:
9 November 2023, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. and 2.30–5.30 p.m. Geneva time
10 November 2023, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. and 2.30–5.30 p.m. Geneva time.
Each session will feature brief introductory presentations sharing experiences of the Parties to the Convention and stakeholders related to the agenda items followed by contributors’ interventions and interactive discussion.
Delegates interested to make a presentation or intervention at the meeting are kindly invited to contact the secretariat (public.participation[at]un.org) as soon as possible, before 1 October 2023, briefly outlining the title and focus of the presentation or intervention with relation to the agenda items.
Provisional programmes for the Task Force and for the workshop, listing the invited speakers, will be released shortly before the meeting.
Participants may wish to submit new or updated case studies on electronic information tools (see the template and other details from https://unece.org/env/pp/eit-case-studies ) in electronic form to the secretariat (public.participation[at]un.org) prior to the meeting, before 1 October 2023.
Aarhus Clearinghouse national nodes
Representatives of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention are also kindly invited to inform about the establishment or the update of the national nodes for the Aarhus Clearinghouse mechanisms in accordance with decision VII/1: https://aarhusclearinghouse.unece.org/national-nodes
All participants are requested to register online through the following link: https://indico.un.org/e/8TFAI_API_Workshop .
Deadline for registration with financial support: 25 September 2023. The secretariat will be in a position to support limited number of representatives from countries with economies in transition, eligible for financial support, selected speakers and NGOs. Please indicate your request in Indico registration form by the deadline. Representative of Governments are also requested to upload in Indico the duly signed financial support request form.
Deadline for registration without financial support: 20 October 2023.
We recommend using Google Chrome browser only for the online meeting registration. Please ensure that you provide us with your email address which can be made publicly available through the list of participants.
To ensure that you receive all important correspondence about the meeting and we can make the required practical and other arrangements on time, we urge Representatives of Governments and stakeholders to register online as soon as possible, even if you hold UNOG ground entry pass.
Delegates are requested to modify registration any time after the registration is submitted in case of changes in their actual remote or onsite participation or other details provided in the registration form.
Participants requiring a personal invitation letter for visa purposes should click on the “visa required” option and register for the meeting as early as possible, taking into account the period required to obtain the visa.
We will communicate to you in due course additional information on technical requirements and on substantive preparations for the meeting.
Delegates are requested to check COVID-19-related rules regularly and prior to arrival to the meeting venue:
for Palais des Nations: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/about/practical-information/covid-19
Delegated are also requested to check all requirements regarding medical and other relevant insurance prior to the travel. Please be informed that any medical, quarantine or other possible expenses will be borne by your Organisation and/or insurance, as the United Nations do not take any responsibility for possible consequences of the present COVID-19 situation.
Wireless internet is available in all buildings of Palais des Nations. Note that electrical power plugs and sockets are unique to Switzerland within the UNECE region (type J, three-pin, 230 V, 50 Hz), and respectively require an adaptor, though slim two-pin plugs (type C) will fit.
In addition, please note that you can drink tap water at the Palais des Nations. As there will be no drinking water served in the meeting room, we encourage delegates to bring reusable bottles or containers for tap water.
Delegates are only allowed to enter the Palais with what is considered as carry-on luggage, e.g. computer bags, rucksacks and hand bags. There is no luggage storage available at the Palais. Delegates remain responsible for the luggage they bring to the Palais throughout their stay.
For additional practical information, please consult: https://unece.org/practical-information-delegates and https://www.ungeneva.org/en/practical-information/delegates
Key dates to remember:
Registration for delegates requesting financial support: 25 September 2023
Registration for other delegates: 20 October 2023
Suggestions for presentations and interventions, case studies and Aarhus Clearinghouse national nodes: 1 October 2023
For additional enquiries about the meeting, please contact the secretariat at [email protected] (subject line: 8TFAI / API Workshop request).