…we expect a common understanding.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment will seek to build consensus among ASEAN countries regarding the handling of plastic waste in the oceans through the ASEAN Conference for Combating Plastic Pollution (ACCPP).

"We as ASEAN countries must stand in our position. We do not want to be influenced by developed countries with (policies banning) plastic and all that kinds," the ministry's assistant deputy for waste and sewage management, Rofi Alhanif, said here on Monday.

He made the statement during a media briefing ahead of the ACCPP, which will be held on Tuesday (October 17, 2023).

Speakers, delegates, policymakers, and representatives from the private sector in ASEAN countries, organizations, the ASEAN business association, and research institutions will participate in the conference.

Alhanif underlined that ASEAN states are mostly developing countries, so their policies on the use of plastics cannot be equated with those of developed countries.

Therefore, through ACCPP, it is hoped that ASEAN countries can listen to each other's perspectives on handling plastic, he said.

"In order to look how the ASEAN countries' perception on the (Plastic) Treaty that is being prepared," he explained.

He assured that the treaty would not clash with national interests, especially economic development.

Agreeing with Alhanif, director of waste management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Novrizal Tahar, said that the ACCPP can be a platform for ASEAN countries to build common understanding on addressing issues related to plastic waste.

After the ACCPP on October 17, there will be a meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) in mid-November 2023, he informed. The INC meeting will discuss the planned Plastic Treaty further.

Tahar highlighted that some ASEAN countries are archipelagic countries, and therefore, more vulnerable to plastic waste pollution in oceans.

"All ASEAN countries may not be at the same level, but we expect a common understanding," he said.

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Translator: Putu S, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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