As a result of the evolution of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the time it was declared a pandemic, the Executive Committee was unable to hold its 85th and 86th meetings as it had previously decided. Cognizant of the importance of maintaining the operation of the Multilateral Fund, its members adopted a “dynamic” contingency plan, that was adjusted on several occasions, as required. The Executive Committee agreed that the extraordinary procedures that were put in place were due to the exceptional circumstances related to the pandemic, and applied as a one-off measure only, without setting a precedent for the future operation of the Executive Committee.
Notwithstanding that the Executive Committee was unable to hold in-person meetings, it considered and approved funding for the majority of the projects and activities and several meeting documents submitted to the 85th meeting (listed under the “Meeting Documents” page) through an intersessional approval process (IAP-85). In concluding the IAP-85, the Executive Committee agreed to defer all outstanding items to the 86th meeting, which, again, could not take place as planned in November 2020. Accordingly, an IAP-86 was conducted through which the Executive Committee concluded a number of agenda items in addition to approving funding for the majority of the projects and activities (also listed under the “Meeting Documents” page); the remaining items were to be discussed through an in-person meeting to be held from 8 to 12 March 2021. However, in considering the challenges that all countries were facing including travel and other logistical constraints, the proposed in-person meeting was not held.
As a result, a closed (password protected) session of an extended IAP (IAP-86ext) will be held beginning in late March to address documents relating to inter alia country programme data and prospects for compliance, evaluation, business planning and analysis of the administrative cost regime and core unit funding, and a few project proposals. In addition, a series of online meetings, where some sessions allow observers’ participation, will be held during April to discuss inter alia the following items:
· Secretariat activities
· Draft guidelines for the preparation of HFC phase-down plans for Article 5 countries including the relevant funding requests
· Framework for consultations with relevant funds and financial institutions to explore the mobilization of additional financial resources for maintaining or enhancing on energy efficiency when replacing HFCs with low-GWP potential refrigerants in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector
· HFC‑23 by-product control projects in Argentina and Mexico
· Sub-group on the Production Sector by the Facilitator of the Sub-group
Following the conclusion of the IAP-86ext and these meetings, a report of the 86th meeting of the Executive Committee will be prepared. Items/documents of the 86th meeting that were not considered or not concluded will be deferred to the 87th meeting.
In view of the present situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person meeting in Montreal will not be organized for the 87th meeting. Instead an IAP (i.e., IAP-87) with online meetings will be organized at the end of June 2021. Arrangements for the 87th meeting will be posted in due course.
The Secretariat will continue doing its utmost to reduce to a minimum the impact on the operation of the Multilateral Fund in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.