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CHAPTER 20: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTES, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN HAZARDOUS WASTES

This chapter addresses the need for effective control of the generation, storage, treatment, recycling and reuse, transport, recovery and disposal of hazardous wastes. When this chapter was discussed by the Main Committee, tension began to rise on paragraph 20.20(f) on increasing "funding for cleaner technology transfer to developing countries and [economies in transition]..." Members of the G-77 expressed concern over including the transitional countries in this and other paragraphs of Agenda 21. Koh asked Algeria to consult with interested delegations on the placement of a generic paragraph that would address these concerns. This was resolved by placing a paragraph in the Preamble (see Chapter 1) and the deletion of text referring to "economies in transition" in Chapter 20.

The next contentious bracketed paragraph addressed the environmental impacts of military establishments. The US refused to remove the brackets it had inserted around paragraph 20.23(h) at PrepCom IV for "national security" reasons. After a number of countries made statements in favor of retaining this paragraph, Koh requested that Sweden hold informal consultations. A compromise was reached whereby the text now reads, "Governments should ascertain that their military establishments conform to their nationally applicable environmental norms in the treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes."

The four programme areas in this chapter are: Promoting the prevention and minimization of hazardous waste; Promoting and strengthening institutional capacities in hazardous waste management; Promoting and strengthening international cooperation in the management of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes; and Preventing illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes.

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