Ms Anama Solofa
Waste Management and Pollution Control

15 February 2023, Auckland New Zealand - The work to strengthen the capacity of Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) to engage and amplify the one Pacific voice in sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, has been applauded by Samoa, as the Chair of the 39 member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
As the Pacific Regional Preparatory Workshop for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) in Auckland, New Zealand, draws to a close, Ms Anama Solofa, AOSIS Lead Negotiator on Oceans, acknowledged the progress the Pacific countries have made since the start of the work to develop a treaty on plastics. 
“The Pacific SIDS are a key part of AOSIS and we are here to support them. It has been very encouraging to see the level of engagement from the Pacific region and the confidence that has grown across the different sessions of the INC, it is really good to see that,” said Ms Solofa.
The INC was formed during the fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), when they agreed to the resolution to “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument”. The first three INCs were held in Uruguay, France and Kenya, with the next one scheduled for Canada in April 2024. 
Since Tuesday this week, 14 Pacific countries have been meeting to strategise and coordinate their response to the revised zero draft text which will be discussed in Canada. 
“What we are hearing from our members is the need for clear direction for the INC going into the negotiation session in Canada, as well as a desire for a formal intercessional work plan for the period between INC-4 and INC-5. So AOSIS will have its consultations and coordinate with all our member countries and consolidate what the asks are and what the priorities are as we go into INC-4 and advocate for that,” Ms Solofa said.

The AOSIS team at INC-3
Since 1990, AOSIS has represented the interests of the 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes. As a voice for the vulnerable, its mandate is more than amplifying marginalised voices as it also advocates for these countries’ interests. 
“In Auckland, we are here to hear from Pacific countries in terms of their reflections on the INC process so far and how they are preparing for the upcoming session in Canada. Because of the current situation for the whole Committee, where there is no formal intercessional work plan, we are very keen to hear how the region is intending to approach INC-4 and beyond and how AOSIS can be of support there to one of AOSIS’s sub-regions.”
Heading to INC-4, Samoa, as AOSIS Chair, continues to amplify the One Pacific Voice calling for urgent attention and action to end the scourge of plastic pollution.
“The Pacific SIDS is a very strong group within themselves, and AOSIS is a platform for amplifying the one Pacific voice, which is what we hope to do in areas where there are common positions, between the Pacific SIDS and the wider AOSIS group.”
The Pacific Regional Preparatory Workshop for the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) is held in Auckland, New Zealand from 13 – 15 February 2024.
Facilitated by SPREP with support from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, this workshop is funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand. The INC-4 Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting is attended by Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.