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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Mon 6
Wed 8  
Thu 9 & Summary

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Highlights from Monday, 6 February 2006

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during his acceptance speech for the Zayed International Prize for the Environment


ICCM Closing Plenary: Delegates seal late night deal on SAICM. Plenary adjourns at midnight.

Grueling last minute talks have resulted in the adoption of the SAICM. The negotiations, which seemed on the verge of collapse earlier in the evening, finally secured a result after interpretation services were extended beyond the original 6:00 pm deadline. The outcome package includes a draft high-level declaration, overarching policy strategy, global plan of action, and several resolutions. Closing the meeting, President Arana (left) thanked delegates for their cooperation and commitment during a "long and difficult road."

UNEP Chemicals Director John Buccini, Maria Cristina Cardenas, Secretariat, and President Mariano Arana, who gavelled the meeting to a close at midnight.
John Buccini consults with US delegates (left) and reads text on financial considerations (right)
Zayed International Prize for the Environment
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with Nane Annan and Sheiikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan received the Zayed International Prize for the Environment presented to him by Sheiikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Kofi Annan speaks with the press (left) and received flowers made without methyl bromide
Mohammed Bin Fahad, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Zayed International Prize, Walt Reid for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which won the prize for Scientific and/or Technological Achievement in Environment, Sheiikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Kofi Annan, Angela Cropper and Emil Salim, who won the award for Environmental Action leading to positive change in society, and UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer

International Conference on Chemicals Managament High-Level Segment
Klaus Toepfer, UNEP Executive Director, Conference President Mariano Arana, and John Buccini, UNEP Chemicals

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, emphasized the role of sound chemicals management in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and eradicating poverty. He highlighted the need for additional financing, improved capacity building, increased technological support, an effective and quick start to SAICM implementation, and use of the precautionary approach.

Fatemeh Vaez Javadi, Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment, Iran, said SAICM must include precaution and prevention, adding that, although SAICM is voluntary, the high-level declaration will politically bind States to the process.

Hamad A. Al Midfaa, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Federal Environment Agency, said the use of chemicals has become all pervasive globally and must be carefully addressed. He said SAICM is voluntary but is still a firm and solid basis for countries to act and avoid potential disasters resulting from mismanagement.

Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment (left), highlighted linkages with poverty reduction

Josef Proll, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria, said SAICM requires strong political commitment and supported an open, inclusive and transparent process offering environmental integrity.

Len Good, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility, highlighted the GEF's relevant work and support for SAICM's objectives.

Helen Bjørnøy, Minister of the Environment, Norway, pledged 25 million Norwegian Kroner for SAICM implementation.

Maged George Elias Ghattas, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Egypt (right), underscored the importance of improving people's living conditions and eliminating illegal trade in chemicals.

Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN, said the SAICM negotiations were teetering “on the brink of disaster.” She accused some wealthy nations of taking negotiating positions that jeopardize the lives of millions of vulnerable people, and highlighted IPEN's vision for a toxic-free future (SAICM/ICCM.1/CRP.23).

Bruno Oberle, State Secretary, Director, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, said SAICM must not be a “paper tiger,” and pledged CHF3 million.

Peter Elverding, President, International Council of Chemical Associations, highlighted the new Responsible Care Global Charter and the Global Products Strategy.


Louise Fresco, Assistant-Director General of the Agriculture, Biosecurity, Nutrition and Consumer Protection Department, FAO, drew attention to pesticides' dominance of the chemicals market, the need to strengthen national legislation in many cases, and FAO's relevant work on chemicals management.

Susanne Weber-Mosdorf, Assistant Director General Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, World Health Organization, stressed the importance of knowledge and capacity on the health impacts of chemicals.

Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, highlighted UNIDO's collaboration with UNEP and GEF.



Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment (left)

Kiyotaka Akasaka, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD (right), reported on its work on instruments and policies to assist countries with their work and to develop cost-effective approaches.


Lebohang Ntsinyi, Minsiter of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Lesotho, said inadequate infrastructure constitutes a serious constraint in sound chemicals management and appealed to developed countries to provide technological assistance and new and additional financial resources.

Abator Thomas, Minister of Health, Sierra Leonne, stressed the need for additional financial resources and technology for the implementation of SAICM.

Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science, Ghana, cautioned against chemical mismanagement, and recalled its participation in the African Stockpiles Programme.


Yousef Abu Safiah, Minister of Environment, Palestine (left), cited hazardous residues and substances, and depleted uranium as chemicals-related problems that pose serious threats to human health and the environment in his territories.

Elliot Morley, Minister of State for Climate Change and the Environment, UK, supported the Quick Start Programme as providing an “easy transition” to long-term action, and pledged US$300,000 for 2006.

Claudia McMurray, Assistant Secretary of State Designate for Environment, US (right), expressed hope that the SAICM would: reflect the Rio Declaration's formulation of precaution; clarify that it would not affect the application or interpretation of rights under other international agreements; and not cover pharmaceuticals or food additives.

Civil Society Forum

A Special Ministerial Event on Children, Chemicals and the Environment hosted by the Network of Women Ministers for the Environment
Maria Neira, Director for Protection of Human Health and the Environment, WHO (left), Lena Sommestad, Minister for the Environment, Sweden, and Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa
Klaus Toepfer speaking during the side event

IPEN Side Event
Jamidu Katima, University of Dar Es Salaam, Fernando Bijarano, Rapam/Rapal Mohammed El Bawna Dhird during the IPEN side event

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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