Chemicals

Highlights and images of main proceedings for 20 September 2021

Online

Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent

With the aim of addressing seven chemicals by the end of the week, participants at the seventeenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-17) initiated discussions of three pesticides on Monday: Terbufos, Thiodicarb, and Iprodione. The CRC is responsible for reviewing notifications of final regulatory action on these substances and deciding whether to recommend that the Conference of the Parties consider listing them in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.

Rémi Nono Womdim, Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention, FAO

Rémi Nono Womdim, Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention, FAO

At the start of the meeting, the Executive Secretaries of the Rotterdam Convention underscored the importance of the CRC’s work in protecting human health and the environment on a global scale. Rémi Nono Womdim, Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization, underscored that the growing number of notifications of final regulatory action for the Committee’s review represents a “huge success” in enhancing the Rotterdam Convention’s effectiveness . He emphasized that sound management of chemicals and waste is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme, emphasized that the CRC’s recommendations are the basis for international action that transcends the boundaries of the BRS Conventions, and thanked outgoing CRC members for their important contributions to the committee’s work.

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, UNEP

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, UNEP

CRC Chair Noluzuko Gwayi (South Africa) swiftly led participants through the adoption of the agenda for the week, organization of work, and other administrative issues, before turning to the technical work that will dominate discussions for the remainder of the meeting.

Chemical Review Committee Chair Noluzuko Gwayi, South Africa

Chemical Review Committee Chair Noluzuko Gwayi, South Africa

A key issue that emerged in the discussions of each of the three chemicals related to whether the notifications from Mozambique meet all of the criteria in Annex II. In particular, some members and observers expressed concern that the notifications did not include a risk evaluation. Others disagreed, emphasizing that the information presented constitutes a simple but adequate risk evaluation and fulfills the requirements in Annex II of the Convention. One underscored that requiring more comprehensive evaluations would be exclusionary and could preclude many developing countries from nominating chemicals for listing under the Rotterdam Convention.

As the concerns raised by some members and observers about the notifications from Mozambique were common to all three chemicals considered on Monday, as well as the other chemicals on the agenda, a group was established to discuss these issues. The CRC also established three separate contact groups to continue discussions of Terbufos, Thiodicarb, and Iprodione, with at least two of the groups expected to begin meeting on Tuesday.

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