The pandemic situation has continued into 2021, with strengthened measures being implemented in some countries to contain the increases in COVID-19 infections. Although vaccines are now available and being rolled out, it may take time before it becomes possible to convene large scale, international meetings to which all delegates will be able to travel freely and attend safely.
Based on consultations with the co-chairs of the Open-ended Working Group and several parties, a contingency plan for 2021 has been developed, taking into consideration the current situation.
OEWG42 (part II), ExMOP and OEWG43
It has been concluded that it will not be possible to convene physical, in-person meetings in the first half of 2021. Accordingly, the 42nd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (part II), which would have discussed the need for and content of a supplementary report on replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (i.e. guidance to TEAP on the preparation of the supplementary report), will not be convened as a face-to-face meeting as envisaged in the last update of the contingency plan disseminated on 20 September 2020. However, it is hoped that by July, the 43rd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG43) may be held in-person in Bangkok, Thailand, as scheduled from 12 to 16 July 2021, and the 66th meeting of the Implementation Committee may be held immediately prior to it on 11 July 2021.
In 2020, the parties took decision XXXII/2, authorizing the Secretariat to organize an extraordinary meeting of the parties (ExMOP) in 2021 to enable parties to take a decision on the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the triennium 2021-2023, if and when the circumstances related to the pandemic permit it.
The Secretariat will continue to monitor the pandemic situation closely and update the contingency plan in April after determining whether in-person meetings will be possible to take place in July. At that time, we may determine whether an ExMOP may be convened and the timing, if it is to be convened.
Should it turn out that OEWG43 cannot be held as an in-person meeting in July, online work will be organized for selected issues from the agenda of OEWG43, following a similar approach as last year. Online work would be conducted from June onwards consisting of online forum and online technical meetings. The online forum will enable parties to review and provide questions and comments on the Assessment Panel reports or documents on issues such as emissions of CFC-11, critical use nominations and energy efficiency, as well as, possibly, the discussion on the need for and content of a supplementary report on replenishment (i.e. guidance to the TEAP).
It is assumed, at this point in time, that an in-person meeting of the combined 12th Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention (part II) and 33rd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (COP12(II)/MOP33) will be convened as planned from 25 to 29 October 2021. The 67th meeting of the Implementation Committee and the Joint Bureaux meeting will be held as scheduled on 23 and 24 October 2021, respectively.
Should OEWG43 not take place as an in-person meeting, COP12(II)/MOP33 may be extended by a couple of days to enable adequate discussion on all items on the agenda.
In consultation with the co-chairs of the meeting of the Ozone Research Managers and the World Meteorological Organization, the 11th meeting of the Ozone Research Managers (part II) which was scheduled to take place from 14 to 16 April 2021, has been postponed. It is now scheduled for 21-23 July 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.