Nordic Ministerial Declaration on the need for a new global agreement to prevent marine plastic litter

28.10.20 | Declaration
The Nordic Ministerial Declaration on the need for a new global agreement to prevent marine plastic litter was adopted on October 28th 2020.



We, the Nordic Ministers of Environment and Climate:


Note with deep concern that plastic pollution is a growing threat to the environment and our oceans affecting even the most pristine areas.


Recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic makes the need to protect and restore nature more urgent. The large increase in use of personal protective equipment and single use plastic items demonstrates the need for sustainable supply chains and consumption patterns that do not exceed planetary boundaries.


Recognize that the current COVID-19 pandemic puts additional pressure on international environmental cooperation.


Stress the need to take decisive steps to demonstrate the commitment to reduce levels of marine plastic litter and microplastics and prevent further discharges into the marine environment.


Stress the importance of the United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 3/7 and its long-term ambition of eliminating discharges of plastic litter and microplastics into the oceans to avoid detriments to marine ecosystems and human activities dependent on them as a guiding objective for our efforts and the decision by United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 4/6 "Marine Litter and Microplastics" ,


Also stress the importance of the work by the Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group to analyse relevant response options at all levels and the Sustainable Development Goal 14 "by 2025, to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution"


Underline the need for a coordinated and structured global response for the effective implementation of measures to reach our global goals, the Sustainable Development Goal 14.1 in particular, while also preparing for action after 2025.


Reiterate our call for the development of a global agreement to more effectively and comprehensively manage the issue of marine plastic litter and microplastics on a global level.


Welcome the ongoing support by other regions, countries and actors in favour of a new global agreement.


Welcome with appreciation the Nordic Report outlining possible approaches to a new global agreement to prevent plastic pollution, including potential elements such as the National Plastics Management Plans and sustainability criteria for plastic products life cycle that warrant further exploration.


Underline that a new global agreement must go beyond closing the gaps in the current international framework and provide mechanisms to engage governments and private sector across the life-cycle of plastics to promote a circular economy and more sustainable ways of consumption and production of plastic products and a system to monitor progress towards our common goal. 


Agree to continue informing global decision-making processes in preparation of a new global agreement.


Also reiterate that this issue by its global nature cannot be solved by any one country alone and that effective, dedicated global governance is needed to promote ambitious coherent action, coordination and effective prioritization of our efforts.


Urge the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert group established by the United Nations Environment Assembly, according to its mandate, to identify and analyse the effectiveness of global response options, including the option of a new global agreement, for further action by the United Nations Environment Assembly.


Call on all members of the United Nations system to support a decision to start a negotiation process towards a new global agreement.


Commit to use our roles as leaders to work towards an ambitious mandate for such an agreement.