The twenty-sixth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties and the third extraordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) took place back-to-back in Geneva on 22-24 June 2022 (Palais des Nations). The meetings were held in an in-person format.
The Working Group reviewed the progress in implementing the current work programme and discussed a number of items, including progress achieved in promoting access to information, public participation and access to justice, and in ratification of the Convention's amendment on genetically modified organisms; financial matters; and promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages. Two thematic sessions, on access to information and on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums, were held during the meeting. They were organized in the format of an interactive panel discussion followed by a general discussion:
- The thematic session on access to information focused on advancing public access to environment-related product information, including on: (a) public access to product information and digitalization; (b) public access to product information and measures against greenwashing; and (c) means to encourage operators to inform the public (eco-labelling, eco-auditing, environmental, social and governance solutions). Subjects for discussion were based on decision VII/1 on promoting effective access to information (ECE/MP.PP/2021/2/Add.1), adopted by the Convention’s Meeting of the Parties at its seventh session (Geneva, 18–21 October 2021), and the key outcomes of the work of the Task Force on Access to Information.
- The thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums focused on legally binding instruments: (a) on plastics (e.g., with regard to the marine environment and air pollution); and (b) on business and human rights, covering States’ obligations with regard to the responsibility of business actors under their jurisdiction. Additional topics included updates on subjects considered by the Working Group of the Parties at its twenty-fifth meeting (Geneva, 3 May and 7–8 June 2021), namely, promotion of the principles of the Convention in processes under the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the focus on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and in international forums in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Subjects for discussion were based on decision VII/4 on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums (ECE/MP.PP/2021/2/Add.1), adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its seventh session, and the key outcomes of the previous thematic sessions.
Documents for the meeting and presentations and statements delivered at the event will be uploaded on this webpage as soon as they become available. For additional information, please read article on the meetings