Steve Thairu Mbaki

(INC-3): Global Plastic Pollution Treaty in Nairobi

Countries met in Kenya to thrash out a global plastic pollution treaty. The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) witnessed a significant turnout, with over 1,900 delegates representing 161 member states and the European Union. Additionally, over 318 observer organisations, including UN entities, intergovernmental organisations, and NGOs, participated in the session. This follows the previous sessions, INC-1 in November 2022 in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and INC-2 in May/June 2023 in Paris, France.


The delegates instructed the Secretariat to prepare an updated draft document, known as the “revised zero-draft text,” by December 31st. This document will serve as the foundation for discussions at the upcoming INC-4 meeting. There was no agreement on a mandate for the intersessional work.

What is mandate for the intersessional work?

A mandate for intersessional work is a formal authorization given to a body in this case the INC to carry out specific tasks or activities between formal meetings or sessions. It serves as a roadmap for the intersessional work, outlining the goals, objectives, and deliverables that must be achieved within the specified timeframe.

The purpose of a mandate for intersessional work is to ensure that the work undertaken is relevant, focused, and aligned with the overall objectives of the organisation or body. It also helps to coordinate activities and ensure that progress is made towards meeting the established goals.

A mandate for intersessional work typically includes the following elements:

  1. Purpose
  2. Objectives
  3. Deliverables
  4. Timeline Framing

None of this was mentioned clearly which has led to frustration. A well-defined mandate for intersessional work serves as a valuable tool for ensuring that the work is conducted efficiently, effectively, and aligned with the organisation’s overall objectives. It promotes accountability, transparency, and measurable progress towards achieving the desired outcomes.