Ninth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF)
7-9 February 2006 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
International Conference on Chemicals Management
4-6 February 2006 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB

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Sat 4
Wed 8  

Thu 9 & Summary





International Conference on Chemicals Management: Highlights from Saturday, 4 February 2006

On the opening day of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM), delegates met in plenary in the morning to hear opening statements and address organizational matters. Following the plenary, the Committee of the Whole (COW) was convened and discussed outstanding issues regarding the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and, in particular, a draft Overarching Policy Strategy (OPS). Two contact groups were established to discuss financing issues, and principles and approaches. The ninth session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Forum will commence on Tuesday, 7 February.

Opening of the Session

Hamad A. Al Midfaa , Minister of Health, United Arab Emirates, highlighted the important role of chemicals and the benefits and prosperity that they provide, but also stressed that their use can lead to hazardous and adverse effects. He emphasized the need for collective action.


Suwit Wibulpolprasert , President of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS), predicted that SAICM would be a “global failure” unless this meeting resulted in greater financial support and multisectoral involvement. Robert Visser, Chair of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) (center), described the IOMC's work in the SAICM process and its implementation, and stressed the need for adequate resources for implementation. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, UNEP (right), noted progress made throughout the SAICM process and stressed links between the chemicals and development agendas. He described SAICM as a global endeavor for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the 2020 target on chemicals management. approved by the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

John Buccini, Director, UNEP Chemicals

Organizational Matters
Mariano Arana, Uruguay 's Minister of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment , was elected as ICCM President.
PrepCom Chair Viveka Bohn, Sweden (right)

Committee of the Whole
John Matuszak, US (left), said the primary focus of international financial institutions was poverty reduction, and suggested deleting references to these institutions from the proposed text.

IPEN (left) told a story about workers poisoned in banana plantations in the Philippines, noting it illustrated uneven power relations among different stakeholders, and called on delegates to work to fulfill SAICM’s objectives so as to protect vulnerable communities, who continue to suffer from inaction at the highest levels. Austria, for the EU (center), and Algeria (right), said new and additional resources will be needed to implement SAICM.

PrepCom Chair Viveka Bohn (Sweden)
Canada (left) introduced an alternative draft OPS text on behalf of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the US (SAICM/ICCM/ CRP.9), emphasizing that a similar proposal was circulated at Prepcom 3 and had broad support.

Finance Contact Group
Jean-Louis Wallace, Canada, and S. Ali M. Mousavi, Iran, chaired the contact group on finance.

Contact Group on Principles and Approaches

UNITAR Side Event: Developing Integrated National Progammes for Chemicals Management and SAICM Implementation: Country Experiences and Future Plans
Development of Integrated National Programmes 2004-2006: Anahit Aleksandryan, Ministry of Environment, Armenia, Dean Peart, Minister of Land and Environment, Jamaica, Ahmat Senoussi Hissene, Minister of Environment and Water, Chad, Marcel Boisard, UNITAR Executive Director, Faris Al Junaidi, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment, Jordan, Achim Halpaap, UNITAR, and Craig Boljkovac, UNITAR
UNITAR Executive Director Marcel Boisard (left), and panel discussion on Pilot Projects linked to SAICM: 2006-2009 (right)
Jack Weinburg, Environmental Health Fund, Thomas Kolly, Federal Office of Environment, Switzerland, and Marcelo Kos, Brazilian Chemical Industry Association

Side Event on the Africa Stockpiles Programme
Clifton Curtis, WWF, moderated the event
Left photo: Nick van der Graff, FAO, and Laurent Graniet, GEF
Nick van der Graff, FAO, Steve Gorman, World Bank, and Laurent Graniet, GEF

Miscellaneous Photos

Relevant links:

 Pre-session events and Parallel Events

ENB coverage of relevant and preparatory meetings:

ENB coverage of the 23rd Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Nairobi Kenya, 2005

Eighth Special Session of GC and the Fifth Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Jeju, South Korea, 2004

ENB coverage of UNEP's Intergovernmental Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building:

  • ISP-3 Bali, Indonesia, 2-4 December, 2004
  • ISP-2 Nairobi, Kenya, 2-4 September, 2004
  • ISP-1 New York, US 25 June, 2004

ENB Coverage of the process for the Further Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM):

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