1 - 3 July 2020 (virtual) and 28-29 October 2020 (hybrid), Geneva, Palais des Nations
Due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic it was not feasible to hold the twenty-fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention in Geneva on 1-3 July 2020 as was planned originally. The meeting was held instead in two slots:
• Items of informational nature were considered in a virtual format on 1-3 July 2020 with no decision-making and
• Items requiring decision-making were considered at hybrid sessions on 28-29 October 2020 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations
For more information please read a news article about the meeting: Upholding Aarhus Rights in a Changing World
The meeting resulted in a number of outcomes, including with regard to preparations of the documents for the seventh session of the Convention’s Meeting of the Parties. Pursuant to these outcomes, several draft documents were prepared by the Bureau for consultations. For information on consultations see this web page.
Virtual sessions on 1-3 July
During the virtual sessions the Working Group of the Parties considered items that would require only provision of information by the Chairs of subsidiary bodies and of the session on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums, the secretariat or other organizations. No decisions were taken during the virtual sessions except of adoption of the meeting’s organisation of work and of the agenda for virtual sessions. The sessions resulted in draft outcomes that were considered at hybrid sessions in October. However:
• Parties and stakeholders were requested to submit written comments on documents that are subject to decision-making for the sessions in July as to progress with preparations and discussions at in-person meeting in October. In order to facilitate preparations, they were requested to submit the comments and the related statements as soon as possible before 24 June 2020.
• Parties and stakeholders could also submit written statements on items that are not subject to decision-making as to inform participants of any relevant developments.
Hybrid sessions on 28-29 October
Hybrid sessions focused on:
• Two thematic sessions on access to justice and on prompting the Convention’s principles in international forums and
• Items that are subject to decision-making, including the future work on access to information, public participation in decision-making, access to justice, promotion of the Convention and its principles etc, based on the Chairs’ notes and outcomes of the sessions held in July (these issues were considered during the item on future work programme).
Documents, statements and presentations for the meeting can be found below.