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The Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Adoption and Signing of the Stockholm Convention
on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Stockholm, Sweden, 21– 23 May 2001






On Wednesday, 23 May, delegates signed the Final Act of the Conference and the Convention. By the end of the Conference, 91 countries and the European Commission had signed the Convention, while 115 countries and the European Commission had signed the Final Act. Canada was the first country to deposit its instrument of ratification. After this, representatives addressed the Diplomatic Conference. The Conference was officially closed at 7:00 pm

The following 91 countries and European Commission singed both the Final Act and the Convention and: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, the United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Kjell Larsson, President of the Conference, announced the Canada was prepared to deposit the first instrument of ratification, and David Anderson, Minister of the Environment for Canada, submitted the instrument to the Secretariat. President Larsson then opened the floor for statements from representatives

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ENB Summary


ENB Daily


BNT Sommaire





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Kjell Larsson, Swedish Minister of the Environment, spoke on behalf of the EU, Central and Eastern European countries, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Turkey. He called on countries to act forcefully to counteract past negligence, and said future use of chemicals must be guided by precaution, prevention and substitution. He urged for efforts to eliminate malaria and the reliance on DDT for vector control, and emphasized the full involvement and support of industry, the scientific community and NGOs

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Khieu Muth, Director General, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia, stated that Cambodia is committed to environmental protection and recognizes the importance of natural resources to its economy and culture. He welcomed steps taken by the GEF to provide developing countries and CEITs with financial assistance to enable them to fulfill their commitments

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Nguyen Van Nam, Vietnam's Ambassador to Sweden, emphasized that his country has suffered greatly from the health and environmental effects of dioxins, and said that the Convention is an important instrument in the development of an appropriate strategy to create a healthier environment for future generations 

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Elim Dutra, Ambassador, Brazilian Embassy in Stockholm, said the Convention is well-balanced, realistic and satisfies all parts, regulation system, strong and flexible, He said that certain POPs are still needed for agriculture, industry and health. He said action plans must reflect nationally defined priorities, and said it is establishing internal conditions by adopting measures to ensure full implementation in the short term. He said provisions on technical and financial assistance must be implemented

Farida Aiduaze, Ambassador, Embassy of Algeria, Sweden

David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, Canada, lauded the shared recognition of the threat of POPs, the shared commitment to take action, and the shared conviction that technical and financial assistance is needed. Describing the threat to wildlife, the environment and human health in the Canadian Arctic ecosystem, he called for entry into force of the Stockholm Convention by the September 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg

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Milos Kuzvart, Minister of the Environment, said the Czech Republic is responsible for the European coordination of the UNEP project financially supported by the GEF aiming to produce an inventory of persistent organic substances, including both POPs and potential POPs candidates, and plans to join the UNIDO project aimed at facilitating the development of national implementation plans

Zhu Guangyao, Minister, State Environmental Protection Administration, China, stressed the importance of poverty eradication, economic development and meeting the basic needs of people in developing countries. He said developing countries faced grave challenges in order to carry out obligations, and emphasized the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. He called for stable, sufficient, and predictable finances, and practical technology transfer

Idiatou Camara, National Director of the Environment, Ministry of Mines, Geology and the Environment, Guinea

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President, Iran, stated that the formal adoption of the Stockholm Convention is a manifestation of the determination of the world to cherish the value of life and nature. Emphasizing the need to promote an ethical and non-material approach that requires sacrifices, she highlighted environmental management and sustainable development policies in her country

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Christine Todd Whitman, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Governor, USA,  mentioned personal endorsement of the treaty by the US President Bush and said that the US is already on its way to implementation of the Convention. She underscored the country's commitment to technical and financial assistance to the developing countries, highlighting allocating for these purposes over USD$22 million within 5 last years and USD$3.5 million in 2001. She underlined the US intent to co-operate with the GEF in implementation of the Convention and to continue work on capacity building in developing countries in the interim

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Christine Todd Whitman, speaks to the press after signing the Convention 


Rejoice T. Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, highlighted health problems related to POPs, and hoped the Convention would assist in addressing the problems of the poor and bettering the lives of citizens. She hoped that projects related to the Convention would be showcased during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. She said South Africa was ready to participate in all resolutions, and would initiate a programme on POPs to showcase at the Summit

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Anahit Aleksandryan, Head of Department of Hazardous Substances and Wastes Management, Ministry of Nature Protection, Armenia

Siv Fridleifsdottir
, Minister for the Environment, Iceland, highlighted that the Convention is the first global agreement focusing on pollution prevention instead of "end-of-pipe" solutions. She foresaw further strengthening of safety rules on chemicals as a result of consumer demand. She said that implementation in all countries implementation can start immediately, and welcomed the GEF's work on technical and financial assistance, as well as future INC work on listing additional chemicals and preventing new POPs from entering the market. Underlying the importance of cooperation between the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, she proposed colocating the Secretariats

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Maj-Inger Klingvall, Minister of the Development Cooperation, Migration and Asylum Policy, Sweden, said sustainable and responsible management of chemicals should be self-financing in the long run and said public, private, domestic and international sources have complementary roles to play. She underscored the need for continuing Official Development Assistance (ODA), especially to the poorest countries, for capacity and institution building and for technical assistance. She expressed Sweden's commitment to reaching the ODA target of .07% of GNP, and said Sweden will increase its ODA to .087% by 2004. She indicated a contribution of an additional 8 million Swedish Krona for POPs.

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Jürgen Trittin, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, said that cooperation between governments and civil society and NGOs was critical to the successful outcome of the negotiations. In particular, he thanked Greenpeace and WWF for their efforts. Addressing producers, he called for no new POPs, and urged the chemicals industry to assist in developing alternatives to DDT, and in the disposal of obsolete POPs stocks. He said developing countries needed technical and financial assistance from industrialized countries. He restated Germany's offer to house the future secretariat and underscored Germany's commitment to ratifying the Convention before the World Summit on Sustainable Development

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Alhaji Mohammed Kabir Sáid, Minister of Environment, Nigeria,called for capacity building, technology transfer and a means of compliance as top priorities for the successful implementation of the Convention, and signaled the intent to seek the full benefits of the GEF as the main financial mechanism
Dominic K. Fobih, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana, said he expected the following from the Convention: assistance in building human and institutional capacity in order to identify chemicals and test their presence in human tissue; awareness raising programmes on the health implications associated with POPs use; provision of alternative environmentally friendly chemicals, particularly for use as pesticides; and adequate mechanisms in developed countries to prevent improper labeling of chemicals that are imported by developing countries.  He hoped that requests for assistance would not face technical or administrative impediments and would receive urgent consideration

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One of three murals on the wall at "Folkets Hus" - the Conference Center. These murals depict three separate epochs in the Swedish Workers Movement.

ENB Coverage of POPS INC-4 and Summary of POPS-5
Linkages Chemical Management page
ENB's "Introduction to chemical management"
UNEP POPs page with official documents and information for participants
Joint UNEP Chemicals / WHO-GEENET web site and the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety web site


© 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.