The Cook Islands delegation.
Waste Management and Pollution Control

17 November 2023, Nairobi Kenya - At the midway point of the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, the Cook Islands continues to advocate for an ambitious Global Plastic Treaty that addresses the full life cycle of plastics.
Led by Director of the Cook Islands National Environment Service, Mr Halatoa Fua, and supported by Ms Tekura Moeka’a, (NES), Ms Roselyn Strickland (Environmental Legal Counsel, NES) and Ms Teuru Passfield (Senior Foreign Affairs Officer, MFAI), the Cook Islands delegation are also acutely aware there is a lot of work to be done in the next few days, if they are going to leave Nairobi having taken one step closer to a treaty to address plastic pollution.
“The Cook Islands recognises the pressing need to end plastic pollution because we see it as a significant planetary crisis that impacts our ecosystems, biodiversity, the climate and human health,” said Mr Fua.  
“Our message from the start of the INC-1 up until now remains the same, we call for a treaty that is firmly rooted in a human rights-based approach and our research is supported by science, and one that honours the waste hierarchy and precautionary principle. We also call for a treaty that is responsive to the needs of the Cook Islands, and our Pacific communities, who are adversely affected by this crisis.”
The Cook Islands is among 14 Pacific Small Island States (PSIDS) amplifying the One Pacific Voice calling for an end to plastic pollution on the global stage. PSIDS, chaired by Palau, has been working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme to coordinate the Pacific’s response, with coordination meetings. 
Mr Fua believes the Pacific coordination is a very important part as the negotiations have shifted gears in INC-3, and the preparation has been critical in ensuring our Pacific Voices are heard. 
The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) taking place in Nairobi this week is the latest critical step of a journey that started Punta del Este, Uruguay (INC-1) and Paris (INC-2) where the mandate was delivered for the INC Chair to prepare a zero draft of the agreement.
The Cook Islands has been an active party to the negotiations, with Mr Fua being very vocal on not only his country’s priorities but also those of Pacific countries. 
In Nairobi, the Cook Islands delegation, along with all Pacific delegations, have been working into the night, as they sift through the text of the Zero Draft of the ILBI.  
The Cook Islands commends the work of the Pacific Delegations and their resilience to engage in fruitful discussions to progress the work forward.
The Cook Islands delivered PSIDS statements on items of the Zero Draft including the Governing Body, Subsidiary Bodies and Secretariat, Preamble, Objective, Definitions, Principles and Scope, Problematic and avoidable plastic products, including short- lived and single use plastic products, fishing gear provisions, and Trade in listed chemicals, polymers and products.  
The Cook Islands notes that there is still a tough road ahead, and is grateful for technical advice from many, including SPREP, as negotiations continue.
The third Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment is taking place in Nairobi Kenya from 13 - 19 November 2023.  
The Pacific Islands are represented by the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu through the support of the Government of Australia and the United Nations.
They are supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), working with partners the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, Environmental Investigation Agency, Centre for International Environmental Law, University of Wollongong, WWF and Massey University.
For more information on INC-3, visit: