Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s satyagraha demanding ban on endosulfan gained attention of some of the participants of the ongoing conference of parties to the Stockholm Convention in Geneva on Monday.

C. Jayakumar, one of the observers to the Convention from Kerala, said in an email message that a small crowd had gathered around him to watch the live feed of Mr. Achuthanandan’s satyagraha at the venue of the conference. There was criticism on the sidelines that India was not trying to avail the money available under the Convention by accepting the ban. There was demand for financial and technical support from Latin American and Caribbean Group and African group during opening statements on Monday while the European Union expressed concern over the number of requests for financial assistance for various issues given the global financial crisis.

Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility (GEF) announced that the GEF Council had approved US$250,000 to assist parties in updating their national implementation plans (NIPs) to include new persistent organic pollutants.

Official reporting services run by International Institute for Sustainable Development said that Coast Rica, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, had reiterated the region’s priorities, including financial and technical support, technology transfer, development of local and regional capacity, and training and awareness-raising.

Kenya, on behalf of the African Group, emphasised the need for non-chemical alternatives to POPS, particularly DDT; expressed concern about reducing dioxin and furan emissions; and appealed for financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, local and regional capacity building, training, and awareness-raising.

India had underscored the need for strong scientific evidence and rigorous analysis of data, and said that new obligations should occur in tandem with provision of adequate financial resources. The European Union prioritised the listing of endosulfan, the work programme on new POPs, synergies, and the compliance mechanism as key issues for discussion at the conference. Switzerland also accorded priority to banning of endosulfan and called for consensus on the matter.

China called for financial and technical assistance for developing countries as they strive to eliminate POPs. Noting the successful formulation of his country’s NIP, Nepal outlined his country’s efforts to eliminate POPs, including banning DDT. Informing delegates of her country’s accession to the three chemicals conventions, the Russian Federation welcomed further cooperation on their implementation.

The International Pops Elimination Network, Pesticide Action Network and the Global Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus called for global ban on endosulfan with no exemptions.

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