that nothing in this Convention shall be interpreted as implying in any way achange in the rights and obligations of a Party under any existing international agreement applyingto chemicals in international trade or to environmental protection,“
that the above recital is not intended to create a hierarchy between thisConvention and other international agreements”.2.At its ninth session, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee noted “the increasing links of trade issues between the Rotterdam Convention and the work of the World Trade Organization (WTO)” (see paragraph 150 of the report of that session, contained in document UNEP/FAO/PIC/INC.9/21).3.At its tenth session, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee addressed the issue of cooperation with WTO in a separate agenda item and prepared, for consideration by the Conference of theParties, a draft decision on cooperation between the secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention and WTO.The draft decision has been submitted to the Conference of the Parties at its first meeting in documentUNEP/FAO/RC/COP.1/29.
II.Cooperation of the interim secretariat for the RotterdamConvention with the World Trade Organization in the interimperiod
4.After the adoption of the Rotterdam Convention (referred to below as “the Convention”) in 1998,the interim secretariat for the Convention (“the secretariat”) continued the cooperation with WTO that had been initiated under the original prior informed consent (PIC) procedure implemented according to theamended London Guidelines and the International Code of Conduct. Cooperation under the interim PIC procedure occurs primarily in three main areas: participation in meetings of the Committee on Trade andEnvironment of WTO; joint work on WTO documents related to the Rotterdam Convention and other multilateral environmental agreements; and participation in general activities of the United NationsEnvironment Programme (UNEP) aimed at enhancing cooperation with WTO.
a.Participation in meetings of the WTO Committee on Trade andEnvironment
5.Since 1997 representatives of the secretariat have taken part, both at the invitation of the WTOCommittee on Trade and Environment and on an ad hoc basis, in meetings of the Committee in order to provide information on the development of the Convention’s procedures and on obligations in theConvention related to trade and environment issues, as well as to respond to questions and requests bycountry delegations to the Committee. This participation was aimed at developing closer coordination between the activities of the secretariat and of the Committee on Trade and Environment. The secretariat’sattendance, by invitation of the Committee, at the Committee’s special information session on multilateralenvironmental agreements, held in June 2001, which focused on compliance and dispute settlement provisions in multilateral environmental agreements, provides an example of such participation. By a recentletter from the Committee on Trade and Environment the secretariat has been invited, together withsecretariats of other multilateral environmental agreements, to take part in the Committee’s special sessionto be held on 12 and 13 October 2004.
B.Joint work on documents related to the Convention
6.The Committee on Trade and Environment, as the WTO body covering environment issues ingeneral and cooperation with multilateral environmental agreements in particular, develops informationdocumentation on those agreements. The secretariat has been invited to take part in this activity and has been working together with the Committee’s secretariat on information documents such as the matrix ontrade measures pursuant to selected multilateral environmental agreements published regularly by thesecretariat of the Committee on Trade and Environment, documents on trade-related measures in the2